Iran Jails/Blames UK Embassy Official for Fomenting Protests #IranElection

In Iran’s continued quest to blame protests on outside sources the Guardian UK reports UK embassy official accused of fomenting mass protests in Tehran

Hossein Rassam, 44, is accused of being the “kingpin” and key strategist behind a purported embassy attempt to foment street demonstrations after the 12 June poll, which resulted in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has dismissed as “wholly without foundation” the notion of British involvement in the protests that brought hundreds of thousands on to the streets for 10 days after the election.

The accusations against Rassam, the embassy’s chief political analyst, are the most specific yet since his arrest on 27 June along with eight other employees, who have since been released.

He was already known to be facing accusations of “acting against national security”, a vague catch-all charge often brought against political detainees. Rassam has been denied access to his lawyer, Abolsamad Khorramshahi, who said that he had not even received official rights of attorney over the case yet.

The latest allegations against Rassam, who is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison, were leaked to Iran’s tightly controlled state media. Fars News – a website linked to the revolutionary guards – reported he had undergone two interrogation sessions and given confessions that will “cast light on many hidden angles of the interference of Britain in Iran’s internal affairs in recent years”.

Rassam is said to have “provoked people” by giving “strategic advice” to foreign journalists based in Iran, particularly the BBC. Fars also said he had personally attended a demonstration on 28 June, which prompted his arrest. In fact, the embassy employees are reported to have been arrested a day earlier.

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