Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: New French ambassador to Iran seeks release of citizens

France’s new envoy to Iran told President Ebrahim Raisi that Tehran had to immediately release seven French nationals detained in the country, the foreign ministry said after the envoy handed his credentials to the Iranian leader this week. Nicolas Roche was pictured this week in local media meeting Raisi with the state news agency IRNA saying that the Iranian president had criticised France’s Islamophobia and that Roche had been mandated to lift misunderstandings in relations. Describing the policy as “reprehensible”, Deputy foreign ministry spokesman Francois Delmas said that by continuing to hold its citizens, Iran’s relations with France and Europe could only worsen. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/new-french-envoy-seeks-release-citizens-talks-with-irans-raisi-2023-02-09/) He said the new ambassador had made it clear to Raisi that the French citizens should be released immediately and that the conditions they were being held in were unacceptable. Ties between France and Iran have deteriorated in recent months with Tehran detaining seven French nationals in what Paris has said are arbitrary arrests that are equivalent to state hostage taking.

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