Iran rejects French call for release of dual national scholar

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French demands for the release of French-Iranian scholar Fariba Adelkhah are “interventionist” and “unacceptable,” said Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Friday, reported the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Iran’s judiciary confirmed Adelkhah’s arrest on July 16, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron raised the issue with Tehran.

“It is vital and urgent for the Iranian authorities to be transparent in this case as well as for all cases of foreign nationals arrested in Iran”, French Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in a daily online briefing on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The French Foreign Ministry’s statement does not help and will only further complicate Adelkhah’s case, said Mousavi.

“Iran does not recognise dual-nationality, and so Ms. Adelkhah is considered an Iranian national and enjoys all the rights of an Iranian citizen,” he said.

Mousavi described the French foreign ministry spokeswoman’s remarks as “unacceptable” and an “interference” in Iran’s internal affairs.

As well as Adelkhah, several other foreign nationals are currently detained in Iran.

British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit. She has been given a five-year sentence for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Iranian regime.

In August, an Iranian appeals court upheld a 10-year jail sentence against British Council staffer Aras Amiri for “cultural infiltration.”

Travel blogger Jolie King, an Australian-British national, and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin were arrested for allegedly flying a drone without a license in Iran.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian academic, has also been detained for almost a year. She was given a 10-year prison sentence.