Iran's ambassador to UK summoned over Tehran envoy arrest – as it happened

By Frances Perraudin


Closing summary



In a series of viral tweets, the head of a Canadian packaged meat company has lashed out at Donald Trump, suggesting the US president bears culpability for Iranian missiles that brought down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 last week. Most of the 167 passengers on board were bound for Canada.

“U.S. government leaders unconstrained by checks/balances, concocted an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes. The world knows Iran is a dangerous state, but the world found a path to contain it; not perfect but by most accounts it was the right direction,” wrote Michael McCain, the chief executive of Maple Leaf Foods, calling Trump a “narcissist”who has destabilised the Middle East.

“The collateral damage of this irresponsible, dangerous, ill-conceived behaviour? 63 Canadians needlessly lost their lives in the crossfire, including the family of one of my [Maple Leaf Food] colleagues (his wife + 11 year old son)! We are mourning and I am livid.”

The thread has been ‘liked’ more than 45,000 times, suggesting the post is striking a nerve with Canadians.

Maple Leaf Foods (@MapleLeafFoods)

I’m Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, and these are personal reflections. I am very angry, and time isn’t making me less angry. A MLF colleague of mine lost his wife and family this week to a needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran...

January 13, 2020

The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has so far resisted weighing in on the role US actions may have played in the tragedy. “I think it is too soon to be drawing conclusions or assigning blame or responsibility in whatever proportions,” he said last week.

McCain’s post — the boldest criticism so far from the Canadian business community — follows a series of emotional vigils across the country over the weekend. Speaking to thousands of mourners in Edmonton, Trudeau said the country would not rest until there was justice and accountability for victims and their families.





'Grieving nations' to discuss legal action against Iran over plane crash



Footage circulated by Iranian activists on Monday morning shows a new gathering at Tehran’s Sharif University and another at the Sharif University in Isfahan, the first signs that the public demonstrations that erupted on Saturday may continue for a third day.

“Basiji go away!” people in Isfahan are heard shouting, in reference to pro-regime militiamen. “Clerics must go!”

I’ve also just heard a voice message from an activist in Tehran who says regime supporters are trying to take over public spaces:

It is fucked around Valiasr Square [in Tehran]. They brought huge loudspeakers and are playing noha [lamentation songs]. And there are around 20 to 30 Revolutionary Guards in their uniforms.








Families of plane crash victims could claim compensation



Iran's UK ambassador summoned to Foreign Office

The Foreign Office has summoned Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, to protest at the brief detention of Rob Macaire, the British ambassador in Tehran, Downing Street has said.

Macaire was held briefly on Saturday as anti-government demonstrations broke out in Tehran over the shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner by Iranian forces. The ambassador was accused of taking part in the protests, a claim he denies.

A No 10 spokesman said:

This was an unacceptable breach of the Vienna convention, and it needs to be investigated. We are seeking full assurances from the Iranian government that this will never happen again. The FCO has summoned the Iranian ambassador today to convey our strong objections.

The meeting is expected to take place this afternoon.

Domonic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, will update MPs on Iran when he speaks to the Commons in the Queen’s speech debate later on Monday.

Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn)

No10: Iranian Ambasaador to UK summoned to see Middle East minister Andrew Murrison today over arrest of British ambassador in Teheran. FCO “seeking assurances this will never happen again”.

January 13, 2020