Iran General NewsIran diplomat quits over protests: report

Iran diplomat quits over protests: report

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ImageReuters: A diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Oslo told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Wednesday that he has resigned in protest over a crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Iran. ImageOSLO (Reuters) – A diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Oslo told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Wednesday that he has resigned in protest over a crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Iran.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran denied the report.

"It was the Iranian authorities' treatment of demonstrators during the Christmas week that made me realize I couldn't continue," NRK quoted Mohammed Reza Heydari as saying.

NRK said Heydari has served as a consul at the embassy for the last three years.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Reuters: "The report is baseless. A diplomat returns to the country when his mission is finished in another country."

"Sometimes they stay longer in the country where they served as diplomats for various reasons, including waiting for the end of school semesters of their children," Mehmanparast added.

Norway's foreign ministry said it was aware of the media reports but that nobody had contacted them about such a case.

In the bloodiest unrest since the aftermath of a disputed June presidential poll, eight people were killed on December 27 and over 40 reformist figures, including four advisers to opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, have been arrested since then.

The opposition says the vote was rigged to secure President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election. The authorities deny the accusations, which they say were part of a Western-orchestrated plot to overthrow the Islamic system.

On Tuesday Iran's interior minister warned opposition activists they risk execution if they continue anti-government demonstrations.

(Reporting by Oslo and Tehran newsrooms; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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