Franco-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah was again imprisoned in Tehran, in the midst of negotiations on Iranian nuclear power, pushing Paris, which already finds them too slow, to warn Wednesday against “the negative consequences” of this return to prison.
“We learn with amazement and indignation the reincarceration in Evin prison of Fariba Adelkhah”, announced its support committee in Paris in a statement, denouncing “cynical” actions of the Iranian power which would use the case of the researcher “according to exterior or interior purposes which remain opaque “.
“The decision to return to prison, which we condemn, can only have negative consequences on the relationship between France and Iran and reduce confidence between our two countries,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, demanding the “immediate release” of the researcher.
Arrested in June 2019 and sentenced in May 2020 to five years in prison for attacks on national security, which her supporters have always denied. She had been under house arrest since October 2020.
This turnaround comes as Iran and several countries (France, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, China, plus the United States indirectly) relaunched talks in November to save the 2015 agreement (“JCPOA” ), supposed to prevent Tehran from acquiring atomic weapons, a particularly hot issue and scrutinized throughout the region.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday that the negotiations were “too slow”, seeming to reduce the optimism he had expressed a few days earlier.
– Discussions “too slow” –
“Discussions are ongoing but from our point of view they are slow, too slow,” he said. This situation “compromises the possibility of finding in a realistic timetable a solution respectful of the interests of each one”, he underlined.
The head of French diplomacy was thus less optimistic than a few days earlier, when he estimated Friday that the negotiations were moving on a “rather positive path” and saying he was “convinced” of the possibility of reaching an agreement.
The talks aim to bring back into the pact Washington, which left it in 2018, and to bring Tehran back to respecting its commitments, broken in reaction to the reinstatement of American sanctions.
“As the Covid pandemic continues to be in full swing the Iranian government is deliberately endangering the health and even the life of Fariba Adelkhah – the death in custody of poet and director Baktash Abtin last Saturday having demonstrated his incapacity or his ill health. wanting to guarantee the safety of its detainees “, denounced the support committee of Mrs. Adelkhah.
Iranian poet, filmmaker and dissident Baktash Abtin died in prison after contracting Covid-19 there, several human rights organizations revealed last Saturday, accusing Tehran of being responsible for the death.
Iran has several dual nationals and another French citizen, Benjamin Brière. They are sometimes accused of espionage. In recent years, the Islamic Republic has carried out several exchanges of detainees with foreign countries.
Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has once considered Fariba Adelkhah to be “hostage” to Tehran for the purpose of bargaining.
This announcement of Mrs Adelkhah’s return to prison comes on the same day as that of the BritishCouncil, an organization promoting British culture abroad, on the return to the United Kingdom of one of its employees, Aras Amiri, after her death. acquittal in Iran where she was convicted in 2019 for espionage.