Iran summons UK and Norwegian ambassadors amid violent unrest
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday it had summoned Britain’s ambassador to protest what it described as a hostile atmosphere created by Farsi-based media in London. The move comes amid violent unrest in Iran sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody.
The official IRNA news agency reported that the ministry also summoned Norway’s ambassador to Iran and strongly protested recent remarks by Norwegian parliament speaker Masud Gharahkhani.
The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody after being detained by Iranian morality police has sparked unrest in Iranian provinces and the capital, Tehran. State television suggested on Saturday that 41 protesters and police have been killed since protests began on September 17. She said official statistics would be released by the Interior Ministry.
According to an Associated Press tally, there have been at least 11 deaths on both sides since protests began after Amini’s funeral.
The Foreign Office website said it summoned Simon Shercliff, the UK’s ambassador to Iran, on Saturday and protested the reception of critical Farsi media. The ministry alleges that news outlets caused unrest and spread riots in Iran at the top of their agendas.
Iran has said it views the news agency reports as interference in Iran’s internal affairs and acts against its sovereignty.
The crisis in Iran began with an outpouring of public anger over the death of Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for allegedly wearing her Islamic headscarf too loosely. Police said she died of a heart attack and was not abused, but her family questioned that account.
Amini’s death drew strong condemnation from Western countries and the United Nations.