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"British responsible for Iranian embassy siege" - former hostage

An Iranian diplomat caught up in the 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege in London has accused the British government of deliberately killing the embassy's press attaché Abbas Lavasani during the SAS raid that ended the siege.

Speaking 27 years after the siege, Dr Gholam Ali Afrouz has called for the British government to pay compensation for "murdering" Lavasani, according to a Fars News Agency report.

The siege was carried out by the Democratic Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan, which demanded the release of Ahwazi prisoners and autonomy for the Ahwazi Arab homeland. Only one hostage taker, Fowzi Badawi Nejad, survived the SAS raid. He was sentenced to life imprisonment (25 years) for conspiracy to murder in 1981 but remains in prison on the orders of the Home Secretary, despite having his tariff reduced to 22 years in 2004 by the Court of Appeal.

Lavasani was one of two hostages were killed in the siege. He was killed and his body was dumped outside the embassy before the SAS stormed the building.

Afrouz's accusations that the SAS had killed Lavasani appear to be an attempt to rally anti-British sentiment in Iran and ensure that Fowzi Nejad is handed over to the Iranian authorities on his release. However, earlier this year the British government suspended a memorandum of understanding with Iran governing the deportation of Iranian asylum seekers, a move that has infuriated Iran.