§ Mr. Worthington
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the reasons given by the Iranian Government for the expulsion of a British diplomat from the British embassy in Teheran; and what was his response to this action.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The Iranian Government are reported as having claimed that Mr. Cowell, the British diplomat expelled from Iran, was involved in actions and behaviour contrary to diplomatic norms and had connections with terrorist groups in Iran. We have made it clear to the Iranians that these allegations are completely unjustified. In our view, Mr. Cowell's withdrawal was a tit-for-tat reaction to the removal of an Iranian first secretary in London in connection with attempts by members of the Iranian embassy to distribute forged documents.