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France

Envoy to hold second meeting with jailed Frenchwoman in Tehran

Latest update : 2009-07-17

France's ambassador to Tehran will hold a second meeting with a French woman jailed on charges of spying on Saturday, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said. Clotilde Reiss (photo) was detained at Tehran's airport on July 1 en route to Beirut.

AFP - France's ambassador to Tehran is due Saturday to hold a second meeting with a French woman lecturer jailed there on charges of spying, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told lawmakers.
   
French envoy Bernard Poletti visited Clotilde Reiss last week in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, her first meeting with him since she was detained at Tehran airport on July 1 on her way to Beirut.
   
Kouchner said during a parliamentary question session the second visit would take place "if all goes as planned," and that based on telephone contacts the 23-year-old seemed to be in good physical and mental health.
   
"We found her to be resilient, lively and hoping above all for her release," he said, adding that Reiss had been able to speak Farsi to fellow inmates.
   
A recent masters graduate, Reiss had been a lecturer at the technical university in Iran's historic city of Isfahan for the past five months.
   
Kouchner said Paris was doing all it could to secure her release, warning that "we cannot accept that this innocent young woman be imprisoned."
   
"We are doing everything in judicial terms to answer the five charges weighing against her, including the unbelievable accusation of espionage," the minister said.
   
Reiss was detained in the wake of the massive opposition protests sparked by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's contested re-election.
   
Iranian officials accuse her of taking part in protests in Isfahan and of sending an e-mail to a friend in Tehran that contained information on the rallies, according to French officials.
   
Kouchner also told lawmakers that Paris would recognise Ahmadinejad's re-election, while saying it would continue to build ties with the opposition movement ranged against him.
   
He said that as Ahmadinejad had been proclaimed president it would be "useless and counterproductive" for France alone to reject this.
 

Date created : 2009-07-16

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