Due to allegedly taking samples of soil from a region where missile exercises were being conducted, Iran claimed Wednesday that it had detained the UK’s deputy ambassador in Tehran.
According to Iran’s semi-official news agency, after it was determined that they took the samples in a “forbidden area” where military drills were carried out in the Shahdad desert in southeastern Kerman province, Giles Whitaker and several other foreign nationals were detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The IRGC released a video showing Whitaker near the site, according to the agency.
After it was reported that Whitaker would be deported, the footage was broadcast by Iranian state television.
Iranian claims that Britain’s second-most senior envoy in the country had been arrested were denied by the UK’s Foreign Office, later on Wednesday.
In a statement, a Foreign Office spokesperson said, “Reports of the arrest of a British diplomat in Iran are completely false.”