Iran has summoned Britian’s ambassador to protest what it says is a hostile atmosphere created by London-based Farsi language media, amid international outcry over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
The death of the 22-year-old after being detained for allegedly wearing her hijab headscarf too loosely has sparked protests in dozens of towns and cities across the country including the capital, Tehran.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website said it summoned Simon Shercliff, the UK’s ambassador to Iran, on Saturday and protested the hosting of critical Farsi-language media outlets.
The ministry alleges the news outlets have provoked disturbances and the spread of riots in Iran at the top of their programmes.
Iran said it considers the news agencies’ reporting to be interferening in Iran’s internal affairs and acts against its sovereignty.
The state-run IRNA news agency reported that Norway’s ambassador to Iran has also been summoned and strongly protested recent remarks by the president of the Norwegian parliament, Masud Gharahkhani.
Many Iranians, particularly the young, have come to see Miss Amini’s death as part of the Islamic Republic’s heavy-handed policing of dissent and the morality police’s increasingly violent treatment of young women.
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “The UK ambassador spoke with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hear their complaints about media reporting in the UK.
“The UK is a fierce champion of media freedom and proud member of the Media Freedom Coalition.
“We condemn the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on protestors, journalists and internet freedom.”
The protests over her death are the most serious in the repressive country since 2019, when demonstrations erupted over a government hike in the price of gasoline.
Iran’s president says protesters should be “dealt with decisively” as authorities seek to crack down on unrest.