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IN THE PRESS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-05-18

Clotilde Reiss: Is she a spy?

One story dominates the French press today: Did Clotilde Reiss work for France's secret service?

A very familiar face is making the headlines here in France: Clotilde Reiss. The French academic was freed on Sunday after being held in Iran for 10 months on espionage charges.


But was she really a spy, Le Parisien asks. In an interview with the paper, Pierre Siramy,  former head of the French secret service, says governments always use students and Clotilde Reiss knew exactly what she was doing. The paper cautions however that Reiss was not hired by the secret service and therefore not paid for her work.

France Soir
is headlining on the same thing: "The strange Clotilde Reiss". Experts quoted by the paper say that she fits the profile of a “non-spy,” as her mother is an Iran specialist and her father works for France's Nuclear Energy Agency (CEA).

Finally, Libération takes a different stand. “Freed from the bearded, but not the spies,” is the paper's headline. Liberation questions whether or not we really care if she was a spy, reporting that secret services used her emails and the information she gave to her colleagues and friends but that Reiss probably never knew about it. The article also points out that these kind of questions could be potentially dangerous for other students abroad, and not just in Iran.
 

By Carla WESTERHEIDE

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