France confirms Iran has been holding vacationers since Could 2020



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France has confirmed {that a} French vacationer has been detained in Iran for 9 months on expenses which his lawyer says are unclear. Iran now has two French nationals, maybe as a bargaining chip for the trade of prisoners, or to strain European powers to grant sanctions aid.

The French Overseas Ministry has confirmed a report regarding the detention of a French citizen in Iran, affirming that he was underneath consular safety and that the individuals in cost in addition to France and Iran have been in common contact with him and “attentively following the state of affairs of our compatriot”.

“This younger vacationer, illegally detained for about 9 months, faces contradictory and false accusations,” wrote his lawyer, Saeid Dehghan, on Twitter. He stated he didn’t have entry to the recordsdata.

The person was recognized solely by his first title, Benjamin. He drove a van from France to Iran, the place he entered on a vacationer visa. He was arrested in Could 2020 in northeast Iran, close to the border with Turkmenistan.

Dehghan denied experiences that his shopper was arrested after flying a drone within the desert, saying he operated a mini remote-controlled helicopter, or helicam, used to take footage of nature.

Nonetheless, because the RFI correspondent says, there are quite a few army bases alongside the street from Tehran to Mashhad within the northeast, together with ballistic missile websites.

The person is being held in Vakilabad jail in Mashhad and has been visited by consular officers. He has been capable of talk together with his household in France just a few instances since his detention.

French officers and his household didn’t disclose the detention for worry that it might intrude with doable negotiations.

Change of prisoners

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of foreigners or binationals in recent times, principally for espionage.

French Overseas Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, known as for the discharge of Franco-Iranian educational Fariba Adelkhah, detained in June 2019 She was sentenced to 5 years in jail in Could 2020 on security-related expenses, and is at present underneath home arrest in Tehran, carrying an ankle monitor.

Her companion, French researcher Roland Marchal, who was touring together with her, was launched final yr after France launched Jalal Ruhollahnejad, an Iranian engineer detained in France and held for extradition to the USA for alleged violations. US sanctions towards Tehran. .

Different prisoner swaps have been negotiated, however Iran has denied arresting individuals to make use of them as bargaining chips in prisoner swaps or negotiations with Western powers.

Nuclear negotiations

Iran is placing rising strain on Western international locations to push the USA to elevate the sanctions put in place after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018.

Newly-elected US President Joe Biden has provided to affix European international locations in talks to revive the deal, which might stop Iran from buying nuclear weapons.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated final month he was able to resume his position as mediator between Iran and the USA.

(with wires)





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