French FM’s Comments on Adelkhah to Further Complicate Her Case: Iran

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Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has reacted to meddlesome remarks made by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian about Iranian prisoner Fariba Adelkhah.

In a statement on Wednesday, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said only Iranian courts have jurisdiction over Iranian nationals.

“Only Iranian courts are judicially competent to look into crimes committed by Iranian nationals,” said Mousavi.

“This case has been examined by the court in accordance with regulations, and Ms. Adelkhah has enjoyed her citizenship rights [during the legal procedure],” the spokesman added.

“The ruling issued is a verdict of first instance and Ms. Adelkhah can appeal the ruling through legal channels,” he added.

Mousavi underlined that the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran has full independence as stipulated in the Constitution.

He said unilateral interpretations of independent judicial verdicts will be “unconstructive” for relations between the two countries.

“Any threatening and meddlesome tone will further complicate this case, and the Islamic Republic of Iran brooks no disrespect of its sovereign principles, including the independence of the Judiciary,” he added.

France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that relations with Iran had become more difficult after Tehran sentenced Adelkhah to jail in what he said was a politically-tainted decision.

“This sentencing was founded on no serious elements and was politically motivated. So we firmly say to the Iranian authorities to release Fariba Adelkhah without delay,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter radio.

“This decision makes our relations with the Iranian authorities a lot more difficult,” he said.

Also last Thursday, the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman urged Iran to release Adelkhah.

“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,” Agnes von der Muhll said.

She claimed that France has repeatedly demanded consolatory access to Adelkhah and her release from prison, and that Iranian officials rejected the request based on her Iranian nationality, and only allowed her family to meet her a few times.

Adelkhah, a 60-year-old anthropologist and researcher at Sciences Po’s Center for International Studies (CERI) in Paris, was reportedly arrested in June on charge of espionage.

Tehran announced on Friday that based on the Iranian law, it does not recognize the dual citizenship of Adelkhah.

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