Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 17:10 UK

Embassy staff families leave Iran

Protesters in Tehran (20 June)
Street protests will not be tolerated, Iran's Revolutionary Guards warn

The families of British embassy staff in Iran are being withdrawn because of political unrest there, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said.

Embassy staff themselves will not be pulled out and it is hoped their family members would return "as soon as possible," the FCO said.

It also advised against all non-essential travel to Iran, although it is not advising Britons there to leave.

Iran has seen mass unrest after the 12 June election result was disputed.

The FCO said in a statement: "The ongoing violence has had a significant impact on the families of our staff who have been unable to carry on our lives as normal.

Banned protests

"As a result we are withdrawing dependents of embassy staff until the situation improves.

"We are not withdrawing staff from the embassy and we hope that their dependents can return as soon as possible."

Protests began after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared to have won 63% of votes in the 12 June presidential election.

However rival candidates - the primary one being Mir Hossein Mousavi - challenged the result, alleging vote-rigging.

Their supporters took to the streets in protest and Iranian authorities deployed thousands of security officers.

On Friday authorities banned protests, prompting street violence in which at least 10 people died.

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