Iranian cleric says UK embassy staff may face trial

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A senior Iranian cleric suggested on Friday that detained local staff from the British embassy in Tehran would be put on trial in the Islamic Republic for their alleged role in post-election unrest.

Iran earlier this week said nine Iranian British embassy staff had been detained for involvement in street unrest that erupted after the disputed June 12 presidential election. Most have since been released.

British officials have said two remained in detention.

In these developments their embassy here maintained a presence in which individuals were arrested and inevitably they will be tried as they have (made) confessions, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told Friday prayer worshippers in Tehran.

Jannati heads the Guardian Council, a powerful constitutional watchdog.

In London, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said it was seeking clarification following Jannati's statement.

All we can say is that two of our staff remain in detention, she said. I would reiterate what we said earlier this week, that the accusations against them are without foundation.

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