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France Says Relations with Iran Tougher after Citizen Sentenced

France Says Relations with Iran Tougher after Citizen Sentenced

Tuesday, 26 May, 2020 - 09:45
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday that relations with Iran had become more difficult after Tehran sentenced a French-Iranian academic to prison in what he said was a politically motivated decision.


“This sentencing was founded on no serious elements and was politically motivated. So we firmly say to the Iranian authorities to release Fariba Adelkhah without delay,” he told France Inter radio.


“This decision makes our relations with the Iranian authorities a lot more difficult.”


Adelkhah was this month sentenced to six years in jail on national security charges.


Iran has rejected France’s previous calls to release the 60-year-old anthropologist who has been detained since June 2019, saying the demands were an interference in Tehran’s internal affairs. Tehran does not recognize dual nationality.


In March, Iran released Adelkhah’s partner, French academic Roland Marchal, who was detained along with her. Marchal was released after France freed Iranian engineer Jalal Ruhollahnejad, detained over alleged violations of US sanctions against Tehran.


Iran has arrested dozens of dual nationals in recent years, mostly on espionage charges.


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