Spain says Iran apologizes for diplomat detention
MADRID – Spain said Friday Iran has apologized for the detention of a Spanish diplomat during recent street protests in Tehran.
Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said her Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi telephoned her Thursday night to say Iran was sorry for the incident and pledged it would not happen again.
Jimenez said Salehi assured her an investigation had been opened to find those responsible for the detention and disciplinary action would be taken.
"He said he was aware that it had violated the Vienna Convention and for that reason he was passing on to his apologies," said Jimenez. She said that Salehi told her that the people on the ground in cases like this were sometimes not aware of international law.
Ignacio Perez Cambra, the No. 3 diplomat at the Spanish Embassy in Tehran, was held in a police station for four hours Monday, while tens of thousands of people attended an opposition-led rally in Tehran.
Spanish media reports said Perez Cambra had been watching the opposition rally with the Spanish ambassador and was detained as he returned to the embassy, but Spanish ministry officials were unable to confirm this.
Spanish officials said Perez Cambra had identified himself and, classifying the incident as extremely grave, had threatened to recall its ambassador if Iran did not apologize within days.
Jimenez called in the Iranian ambassador in Madrid for an explanation earlier this week, but the ambassador said he knew nothing about the detention.
Jimenez was speaking Friday during a news conference with visiting Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci.