Iran 'frees five' UK embassy staff

Politics Materials 29 June 2009 11:26 (UTC +04:00)

Five out of nine local staff from the UK embassy detained in Tehran have been released, Iran's state TV says.

Iran's media earlier said Iranian staff at the British mission were held over their alleged role in protests against disputed presidential elections, BBC reported.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband dismissed the allegations as baseless.

Separately, Iran's top legislative body began a partial recount of the poll - a move rejected by defeated opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The Guardian Council has offered to recount a random 10% of the votes from the 12 June election.

Iran's state TV said the recount had started in the capital Tehran as well as in the country's provinces.

It said the process was expected to be completed later on Monday and the result would be announced shortly afterwards.

But Mr Mousavi insists the poll was rigged and therefore should be annulled.

Current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the poll's winner - a move that triggered mass street protests.