A French presidential official said that the Iranian authorities had released French researcher Roland Marshall, who had been imprisoned in Iran since June 2019. The official added that Roland is scheduled to arrive in France around noon on Saturday.
He indicated that French President Emmanuel Macron urged the Iranian authorities to also release French citizen Fariba Adelkha, who is still imprisoned in Iran. Adelkhah also holds Iranian citizenship.
Iranian media said that Iran and France had agreed to swap Marshall Mahbous for an Iranian convicted in Paris on violating US sanctions on Tehran’s charges.
Iranian state radio and television said that France had released Jalal Ruhullah Ahmadinejad, an Iranian engineer wanted by the US authorities, on charges of violating the sanctions.
France had called on Iran to release Marshall, a senior researcher at the Paris Institute for Political Studies (Science Po), and Paris announced his arrest in mid-October.
In May, a French court agreed to surrender Ruhullah Ahmadinejad to the United States to face charges of attempting to illegally transfer US technology for military purposes on behalf of an Iranian company, which US officials say is linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
This complicated much more the relations between France and Iran at a time when Macron was seeking to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The Revolutionary Guards have arrested scores of dual nationals in the past few years, most of them on espionage charges.