Two Europeans arrested in Iran

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The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence announced on Wednesday the arrest of two “Europeans”, accused of having come to Iran to “destabilize the country”, without giving details on the nationality of the detainees.

Two Europeans were arrested in Iran, announced Wednesday, May 11, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence.

“Two Europeans, who had entered the country with the aim of unleashing chaos and destabilizing society, have been identified and arrested,” the intelligence ministry said in an official statement, without specifying the date of the arrests or where. they took place.

The detainees are accused of being “experienced” intelligence “agents” and “citizens of a European country”, he added. They are suspected of having tried to get closer to Iranian unions, in particular that of teachers, the ministry said.

For months, teachers have been calling on the Iranian government to speed up reforms providing for an increase in their salaries. They also call for the release of their colleagues arrested during previous mobilizations. Iran education union leader Rasoul Bodaghi was sentenced to five years in prison in April for his involvement in teacher protests, according to a human rights organization.

A French couple is missing after a vacation in Iran

The day after this announcement, a French national education union told Reuters that a Frenchwoman and her husband were missing after a vacation in Iran.

Christophe Lalande, federal secretary of the FNEC FP-FO (National Federation of Education, Culture and Vocational Training-Force Ouvrière), said he had no news of the union employee, who was to return to France Start of the week.

“We don’t have absolute certainty, but a very strong presumption (that she) was arrested in Iran where she was on a private tourist trip during the Easter holidays,” he said. “We have no more news of our comrade.”

“The tourists arrested are of French nationality,” a diplomat stationed in the Middle East also said on Thursday.

No confirmation from the Quai d’Orsay

The French Foreign Ministry was unable to confirm the arrest of two of its nationals in Iran on Thursday morning, when negotiations for a relaunch of the Iranian nuclear agreement seem to have stalled. .

Another Frenchman, Benjamin Brière, was sentenced at the start of the year to eight years and eight months in prison for “espionage”, for having taken photos in May 2020 of “prohibited areas” with a drone during his stay. always presented as a tourist trip in the north of the country.

Franco-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah has been detained since June 2019 and was sentenced in May 2020 to five years in prison for undermining national security. Under house arrest since October 2020, she was reincarcerated in mid-January, accused by Iranian justice of having violated the rules of her house arrest.

Her companion Roland Marchal, also a researcher, had been detained with her before being released in March 2020, after Paris freed the Iranian engineer Jallal Rohollahnejad, whose extradition the United States was seeking for violating American sanctions against the ‘Iran.

In recent years, the Islamic Republic has carried out several exchanges of detainees with foreign countries.

With AFP and Reuters

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