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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.

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 Mir Hossein Musavi says was rigged in favour of hard-line President Mahmud 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 July 3 to protest against the detention of the British Embassy employees and warned that they would take tougher steps if they were not released.

Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has issued a fresh warning to Western governments against interfering in Iran's internal affairs.

with additional RFE/RL reporting
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