Tehran protesters burn effigy of Britain’s envoy to Iran

Iranian judiciary said Rob Macaire was an ‘undesirable element’

Pro-government protesters set fire to a life size cut out of Britain's ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire at a gathering to commemorate the late Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone attack on Jan. 3, and victims of the Ukrainian plane that was mistakenly downed by the Revolutionary Guard last Wednesday, at the Tehran University campus in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Macaire was detained on Saturday after briefly attending a candlelight vigil that turned into a protest. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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An effigy of Britain's ambassador to Iran was set alight in Tehran as the Iranian judiciary declared the envoy an "undesirable element".

Over the weekend Rob Macaire was accused of attending an "illegal" protest despite his denials. The ambassador said he had attended a vigil for victims of the devastating plane crash over Iran. London said his detention was a violation of diplomatic conventions.

His short detention sparked outrage in Britain and elsewhere over the treatment of a diplomatic figure.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said London had received no formal notification that Mr Macaire would be expelled, adding that any such action would be regrettable.

"Based on international regulations, the British ambassador in Iran is an undesirable element," judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters.

Prominent hardline Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda also said expelling the ambassador would be "the best thing that can happen to him" as otherwise loyal supporters of assassinated Quds Force general Qassem Suleimani would "chop him to small pieces".