UK deputy ambassador supposedly ‘arrested’ for spying for Israel had left Iran in December.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A British government official fired back against a claim by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that it had arrested the UK’s deputy ambassador to Iran, stating that the report was entirely fabricated.
“These reports that our deputy ambassador is currently detained are very interesting,” UK Ambassador to Iran Simon Shercliff wrote on his Twitter account Thursday morning.
“He actually left Iran last December, at the end of his posting.”
These reports that our Deputy Ambassador is currently detained are very interesting…
….He actually left Iran last December, at the end of his posting.
— Simon Shercliff (@SimonShercliff) July 7, 2022
The IRGC released video footage on Wednesday evening purporting to show Giles Whitaker, the British deputy ambassador to Iran, in an area that is off-limits to non-military personnel.
According to the IRGC, Whitaker, other international diplomats, and a student from a “Zionist regime”-affiliated Polish university, had spied on missile testing activity conducted by the terror group.
“These spies were taking earth samples in Iran’s central desert where the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace missile exercises were conducted,” the IRGC said in a statement.
Israel was behind the espionage, said the IRGC. The Jewish State is “using nationals from third countries who are linked to foreign embassies” to investigate “the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program.” The statement did not provide any evidence linking Israel to the diplomats or alleged spying.
The “spies” were planning to share their findings with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the IRGC said.
Farsi language media reported that Whitaker apologized for his spying and was subsequently expelled from Iran.
The UK Foreign Office flatly denied the version of events from the IRGC, telling Sky News that “reports of the arrest of a British diplomat in Iran are completely false.”
It’s unclear what triggered the IRGC statement about the alleged arrest of the British diplomat. Talks aimed at coaxing Iran back into an agreement to curb its nuclear program are currently stalled.