Iran's UK ambassador Mohsen Baharvand. FILE PHOTO

Iran's UK ambassador Mohsen Baharvand

Iran’s UK Ambassador Reportedly Fired Over Hijab Incident


Mohsen Baharvand, Tehran’s ambassador to London has been called back to Tehran by the Foreign Ministry following a controversial ceremony at the embassy.

Kayhan newspaper, affiliated with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office, said Saturday that Baharvand had been dismissed from his post over a “norm-breaking” ceremony two weeks ago to mark the anniversary of 1979 Islamic Revolution

A video posted to the internet apparently from the ceremony showed women not wearing hijab. While hijab is compulsory in public in Iran, Iranian officials often attend events outside the country where it is not worn.

An unveiled woman was seen in the video playing the piano, alongside a male violinist. The video then pans across guests to photos on the wall of the 1979 Revolution leader Ruhollah Khomeini and his successor as Iran’s Leader Ali Khamenei.

Kayhan said the embassy had not observed diplomatic protocols, and Fars News, an affiliate of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, suggested the ceremony had not been in line with “the values of the [1979] Islamic Revolution.”

The INLA news agency cited Saeed Khatibzadeh, the foreign ministry spokesman, saying Baharvand was one of 38 envoys set to be replaced. Baharvand became ambassador in 2021, and was formerly for a year deputy foreign minister for international and Legal Affairs: he was appointed to both posts under the former administration of President Hassan Rouhani.

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