France Says Iran Breaching International Treaty with Prisoner Detentions

People shop at a market in Tehran on March 14, 2023, ahead of the Nowruz New Year festival. (AFP)
People shop at a market in Tehran on March 14, 2023, ahead of the Nowruz New Year festival. (AFP)
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France Says Iran Breaching International Treaty with Prisoner Detentions

People shop at a market in Tehran on March 14, 2023, ahead of the Nowruz New Year festival. (AFP)
People shop at a market in Tehran on March 14, 2023, ahead of the Nowruz New Year festival. (AFP)

France accused Iran on Tuesday of breaking an international treaty defining consular relations between states and said Tehran had demonstrated publicly that it was holding foreign nationals arbitrarily.

Relations between France and Iran have deteriorated in recent months with Tehran detaining seven French nationals in what Paris has said is state hostage taking.

One of those, Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah, was released, but it is still unclear how much longer she will have to stay in Iran before returning to France.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said the French government had interfered and taken "destructive" positions regarding events in Iran.

"Obviously, these positions and the measures taken by France will not help in the negotiations for the prisoners," Nasser Kanani told reporters.

French foreign ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre said Kanani's remarks were extremely worrying and openly highlighted the "arbitrary character" of the detention of French citizens.

"This is an acknowledgement from the Iranian authorities that they are in breach of the Vienna convention on consular relations which constitutes the foundation of diplomatic relations between states," she said, calling for the French citizens to be released immediately.

In recent years, Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners, mostly on charges related to espionage and security.

Rights groups have accused Iran of trying to extract concessions from other countries through such arrests. Iran, which does not recognize dual nationality, denies taking prisoners to gain diplomatic leverage.



Iran Responds to UN Condemnations by Installing More Centrifuges at Fordow

A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran’s National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran April 10, 2021. (Reuters)
A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran’s National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran April 10, 2021. (Reuters)
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Iran Responds to UN Condemnations by Installing More Centrifuges at Fordow

A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran’s National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran April 10, 2021. (Reuters)
A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran’s National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran April 10, 2021. (Reuters)

Iran has rapidly installed extra uranium-enriching centrifuges at its Fordow site and begun setting up others, a UN nuclear watchdog report said in what diplomats described as limited retaliation to a resolution by the watchdog's board.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that diplomats said Iran was responding to last week's International Atomic Energy Agency board resolution against it by expanding its uranium-enrichment capacity at its two underground enrichment sites at Fordow and Natanz, but the escalation is not as big as many had feared.
Such resolutions taken by the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors anger Tehran, which typically responds by accelerating its nuclear activities.
Eighteen months earlier, Iran responded to a similar resolution by enriching uranium to up to 60% purity—close to weapons-grade—at a second site and announcing a significant expansion of its enrichment program.
“Iran has rapidly installed two more cascades, or clusters, of uranium-enriching centrifuges at its Fordow site and begun work on more while also planning others at its underground plant at Natanz,” the UN nuclear watchdog said in its report.
“On 9 and 10 June ... Iran informed the Agency that eight cascades each containing 174 IR-6 centrifuges would be installed over the next 3-4 weeks in Unit 1 of FFEP (Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant),” the confidential report sent to member states on Thursday said.

It added, “On 11 June 2024, the Agency verified at FFEP that Iran had completed the installation of IR-6 centrifuges in two cascades in Unit 1. Installation of IR-6 centrifuges in four additional cascades was ongoing,” referring of one of Iran's most advanced centrifuge models.