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Iran Arrests Two French Nationals For Espionage

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The arrest of two French nationals on Tehran is trending news on the social media. 

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The Iranian authorities have only recently confirmed the arrests of two French nationals, Cecile Kohler, 37, and Chuck Paris, 69 which Paris says they have visited the country as tourists. 

Anadolu has a full report on the arrest, stating that Iran, Tuesday confirmed the two were apprehended for stoking unrest by participating in teacher protests.

The Iranian national broadcaster aired footage of the pair from the moment they set foot in the Islamic republic on April 28 until their arrest on May 7, AFP reported. 

The French news agency quoting the Iranian broadcaster added: “The two entered Iran with tourist visas… but monitoring and surveillance of their movements and meetings by Iran’s intelligence ministry showed they were not in fact tourists.”

The Turkish news agency put it this way stating Iran’s state broadcaster showed a film about the duo’s arrest by intelligence sleuths and their activities in the country, openly calling them “spies.”

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The two were arrested on 11 May by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, confirming then it took into custody “two European nationals” for “fomenting chaos and social disorder,” without disclosing their nationality with the ministry stating the pair were sent by “foreign conspirators” to carry out destabilizing activities in Iran.

However France condemns what it calls “groundless arrest” and demands their immediate release.

The French Foreign Ministry said its envoy in Tehran is seeking consular access to the two, while at the same time summoning a senior diplomat at the Iranian Embassy in Paris had been summoned for explanations.

The local media in Iran confirmed the detainees were members of a prominent French trade union representing education who met with protesting teachers and had taken part in recent protests in Iran over salary hikes and working conditions.

Their arrest come after a months-long campaign by teachers in Iran calling for the government to speed up the implementation of reforms that would see their salaries better reflect their experience and performance according to AFP, stating protesters were calling on the authorities to release teachers detained at similar demonstrations. 

Earlier this month, the New York-based Human Rights Watch appealed for the release of almost 40 teachers arrested at events surrounding nationwide demonstrations on May 1, the French report added and reporting in April, that a teachers’ union member Rasoul Bodaghi was sentenced to five years in prison for taking part in the protests, according to a human rights group.

Iranians continued to be in the news with reports of many people taking to the streets across the country protesting 300 percent price price hikes: Iranians are protesting all over the country against exceedingly high cost of living and according to an Albawaba report. 

Their arrest means that Tehran has now four French nationals in its custody. 

Original article

Al Bawaba News

Al Bawaba provides top stories and breaking news about the Middle East and the world. The Al Bawaba network consists of several web portals and media platforms.

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