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Iran Continues to Terrorize Embassies by Detaining Japanese Ambassador | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian security forces stand guard to protect Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran, Iran Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Tokyo- Iran’s records still scream of violations towards international embassies and diplomatic delegations in Tehran. The number of violations reached 19, with the latest in April when the Japanese Ambassador was detained.

The Japanese government filed an official complaint with Iran for the brief detention of the Japanese Ambassador, Hiroyasu Kobayashi, who was questioned after attending with his wife a dinner at an Iranian doctor’s house.

The Japanese government confirmed it had lodged a protest at the Iranian authorities for the brief detention and questioning of the ambassador. The Iranian authorities apologized for the incident and vowed it won’t happen again.

According to media reports, Iranian Foreign Ministry’s new spokesman Bahram Ghasemi denied the arrest of the diplomat during a private party. He stated there was no arrest, describing the incident as a brief misunderstanding.

The ambassador had a business card with him, but not his Iranian government-issued “diplomatic card.” The business card was ignored and the diplomat was questioned, the spokesman said.

Security authorities burst in the house and prevented attendees from leaving the venue. Alcohol was served at the party which is banned in Iran.

While the reason for the raid is unclear, the incident could amount to a violation of diplomatic immunity, which states that foreign diplomats should not be arrested or detained.

The Japanese authorities announced that the Iranian security also searched the car of the ambassador although it carries a diplomatic plate, in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Optional Protocols. The ambassador was held for an hour and a half with a number of guests, while reports said that security forces allowed other foreign diplomats to leave.

The Japanese Ambassador and his wife were allowed to leave after their identity was confirmed. Yet, Japan considered this a violation of diplomatic immunity.

Over 30 years, and since the men wearing turbans came to power, Iran has been violating all diplomatic agreements and attacking embassies and consulates. Various international stances were made regarding the violations.

Over the past years, many countries recorded violations such as the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, South Korea, and many Arab and Islamic states like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco. Members of the EU withdrew their ambassadors from Iran, except Greece. The number of attacks and violations reached 17, which became 18 with the attack on the Saudi Embassy and consulate earlier this year.