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Iran Slams French Call for Release of Detained Scholar

Iran Slams French Call for Release of Detained Scholar

Friday, 4 October, 2019 - 16:15
Franco-Iranian academic Adelkhah Fariba. AFP file photo

Iran said Friday that France's call for it to release a detained French-Iranian scholar was an “unacceptable interference” in its internal affairs and would not help resolve the issue.

France's foreign ministry on Thursday demanded Iran release dual national Fariba Adelkhah, a senior research fellow at Sciences Po university in Paris, who was detained on unspecified charges earlier this year.

Iran’s “foreign ministry considers the French government's move unacceptable and deems it an interference in our country's domestic affairs," ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement.

"Adelkhah is an Iranian national and she benefits from all the rights of an Iranian citizen.

"There is no basis for this interference by the French foreign ministry... not only does this step not help the case in any way but it risks complicating the judicial proceedings."

Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries - a charge that Iran has regularly dismissed.

Adelkhah's arrest came at a time when France and other European powers were caught up in an international standoff over Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States abandoned last year.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals over recent years, mostly on espionage charges.

On Tuesday, Iran confirmed the arrest of anthropologist Kameel Ahmady, reportedly a British-Iranian dual national.

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