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Iran: France says Tehran breached international treaty with detentions of foreign nationals
France accused Iran of breaching an international treaty surrounding consular relations between countries with its arbitrary detention of foreign nationals. This comes as relations between France and Iran have further deteriorated in months.
On Monday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani told reporters that the French government has interfered and taken a “destructive” stance regarding the situation in Iran. Kanani said such stances by Paris would not be helpful in the negotiations toward the release of the French nationals Iran has imprisoned, which France said amounted to hostage-taking.
French foreign ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre said Kanani’s remarks were concerning and only highlighted Iran’s “arbitrary character” of the detention of French nationals in Iran.
“This is an acknowledgment from the Iranian authorities that they are in breach of the Vienna convention on consular relations which constitutes the foundation of diplomatic relations between states,” said Legendre, further calling for detained French nationals to be released.
One of the seven French nationals Iran has arrested, Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkah, was released. However, it remains to be determined how long Adelkah will have to stay in Iran before she is allowed to return to France.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners, mostly on charges of espionage and security. Rights groups have also accused Tehran of arresting foreigners and dual nationals to use as diplomatic leverage in order to gain concessions. Iran does not recognize dual nationality and denies the allegations of using detained foreign nationals as diplomatic leverage.
Over the weekend, the Iranian supreme court upheld the death sentence of Iranian-Swedish national Habib Farajollah Chaab, who was accused of leading an Arab separatist group that, according to the judiciary, launched “terrorist operations” on Iranian soil, including an attack on a military parade in 2018 that killed 25 people and wounded around 250 others.
Chaab was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” back in December. Chaab was arrested by Iranian security forces in Turkey in 2020 and brought to Tehran without disclosing how and when exactly Chaab was arrested and brought back. Iran’s relations with Sweden have also come under strain largely over Iran’s detention of two Iranian-Swedish nationals on charges of espionage.