July 6, 2009 / 9:12 AM / 9 years ago

Britain says Iran frees embassy worker

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran has released one of the last two British embassy employees detained in Tehran after the disputed presidential election, the British government said on Monday.

Iran arrested nine Iranian workers at the British embassy in Tehran, accusing them of instigating street protests after the elections. All but one have now been released.

Britain has denied Iranian accusations that the staff were involved in instigating opposition protests after the vote, which defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi says was rigged in favor of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“It remains our top priority to get all of our embassy staff released as soon as possible,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said. “We are continuing intensive discussions with the Iranian authorities and our international partners to resolve this issue.”

European Union countries summoned Iranian ambassadors on Friday to protest against the detention of the British embassy employees and warned that they would take tougher steps if they were not released.

Reporting by Peter Griffiths; Editing by Dominic Evans

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