Iran General NewsMiliband urges Iran to free embassy man jailed over...

Miliband urges Iran to free embassy man jailed over protest claims

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ImageThe Times: David Miliband has pleaded with Iran to overturn the sentence of a British embassy worker who is alleged to have encouraged protesters during street demonstrations against the presidential election result last summer. The Times

Sam Coates in Brussels

ImageDavid Miliband has pleaded with Iran to overturn the sentence of a British embassy worker who is alleged to have encouraged protesters during street demonstrations against the presidential election result last summer.

The Foreign Secretary urged Tehran to clear Hossein Rassam, 44, who was arrested in June. He was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting arrest, allegations both he and the British Government deny vehemently.

Speaking at the EU summit in Brussels, he said he was very worried at the news from Tehran. “Both the Prime Minister and I are concerned by reports of the sentence. We know he was a hard-working embassy official.”

He said other European leaders shared his concern and saw it as an attack on all diplomatic missions in Iran. The EU issued a joint statement condemning the move by Tehran.

“The EU considers the sentence unjustified and harsh, and urges the Iranian authorities to overturn it swiftly,” the EU’s Swedish presidency said last night.

Nine British embassy workers were arrested but only Mr Rassam was charged, along with an employee from the French Embassy.

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