In the Iranian capital Tehran it is reported that a British diplomat has been arrested. The accusation: espionage.

The Foreign Office in London has denied a report from Tehran that the deputy British ambassador to Iran was arrested.

“Reports of the arrest of a British diplomat in Iran are completely false,” a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, according to the British news agency PA.

According to the state news agency IRNA, the diplomat was tracked down by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ secret service. He is accused of espionage. The diplomat is said to have been with his family as a tourist in the Iranian desert and took soil samples there without permission. According to the news agency, exercises of the Revolutionary Guards were held in the region. The diplomat is said to be expelled after an apology.

Furthermore, the Irna report also made accusations of espionage against a Polish university professor and the husband of an Austrian diplomat. It was initially unclear whether the suspects were taken into custody. Initially, there were no reactions from Poland or Austria.