President Emmanuel Macron has called for the immediate release of two French nationals held in Iran, a festering issue that has complicated French efforts to defuse tension between Washington and Tehran.
“On Human Rights Day, my thoughts go to Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, our compatriots held in Iran, and their families,” Macron said on Twitter.”
Their imprisonment is intolerable. They must be freed without delay. I told President Rouhani, I repeat it here,” he wrote.
French officials reported the arrest of Marchal, a senior researcher at Science-Po university in Paris, in mid-October, while his Franco-Iranian colleague Adelkhah has been in prison in Iran since June.
Iranian-born Adelkhah is a specialist on Shia Islam who has written extensively on Iran and Afghanistan.
The arrests came as Macron conducts intense diplomacy to find a way of keeping alive the 2015 nuclear deal which limits Iran’s atomic programme.
Iran has several dual nationals and Western passport holders in detention. Rights groups accuse Tehran of using them to extract concessions from Western countries.
They include British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, who has been jailed in Tehran since 2016 on sedition charges, causing major tensions with Britain.
Source: FRANCE 24 with REUTERS