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Iran foreign ministry criticizes France for ‘meddling’ in Iranian judicial files

Published: Updated:

France’s “meddling” in Iran’s judicial files is unjustified, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Wednesday, adding that Tehran does not accept any interference in its internal affairs.

On Tuesday, Iran’s judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam who had been living and working in exile in Paris has been sentenced to death.

Iran arrested Zam in October 2019 while he was in Iraq.

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Esmaili also said on the same day that an appellate court has upheld the five-year prison sentence given to French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah on national security charges.

Adelkhah, a specialist in Shia Islam and a research director at Sciences Po university in Paris, was arrested in June last year.

She is a citizen of Iran and France, but Tehran does not recognize dual nationality.

France has condemned Zam and Adelkhah’s sentences.

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The death sentence for Zam is “unjust, inhumane and ineffective,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that it strikes “a serious blow to freedom of expression and press freedom in Iran.”

On Adelkhah’s sentence, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in an online briefing on Tuesday: “We condemn this decision by the Iranian authorities who persist in detaining Fariba Adelkhah despite the lack of any serious evidence or established fact, for exclusively political purposes. We remain determined to obtain the release of our compatriot.”

In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mousavi said that Tehran “does not accept any interference in its internal affairs.”

The French foreign ministry's “meddling” in Iran's judicial cases has “no justification,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Mousavi as saying.

“The trial of Iranian nationals was a fair trial and within the framework of rules and civil rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and under the jurisdiction of the Iranian judicial courts,” he said, adding: “Ms. Adelkhah and Ruhollah Zam have been convicted according to the crimes they committed and are serving their sentences.”