UK Foreign Office summons Iran’s most senior diplomat over protests

Foreign secretary concerned at human rights violations as Iranians demonstrate around the country

Women hold signs and chant slogans during a protest over the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini outside the Iranian Consulate on September 29 in Istanbul, Turkey. Getty
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The Foreign Office summoned Iran’s most senior diplomat in the UK on Monday, over the country’s crackdown on the protests rocking the country.

Since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by police in the capital Tehran for allegedly not adhering to Iran’s strict Islamic dress code, thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protest.

The Foreign Office summoned Mehdi Hosseini Matin on Monday at the foreign secretary's request.

“The violence levelled at protesters in Iran by the security forces is truly shocking," said James Cleverly.

“Today we have made our view clear to the Iranian authorities – instead of blaming external actors for the unrest, they should take responsibility for their actions and listen to the concerns of their people.

“We will continue to work with our partners to hold the Iranian authorities to account for their flagrant human rights violations.”

Mahsa Amini protests around the world - in pictures

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Monday responded publicly to the biggest protests seen in the country in years.

He described the death of Ms Amini while she was in custody as “a sad incident” that “left us heartbroken”.

His comments came as nationwide protests sparked by Ms Amini’s death entered a third week, despite the government’s efforts to crack down on them.

Iran protests - in pictures

Authorities have repeatedly blamed foreign countries and exiled opposition groups for fanning the unrest, without providing evidence.

Demonstrations continued in Tehran and far-flung provinces as authorities restricted internet access to the outside world and blocked social media apps.

They rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of the clerical establishment that has ruled Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

Updated: October 03, 2022, 8:47 PM