A staff member from the French embassy in Tehran – facing spying charges – has been released from jail although she is still being prosecuted the French government says. Nazak Ashfar, a French Iranian who works in the cultural section of the embassy is among dozens of defendants at a mass trial along with 23-year-old French teaching assistant, Clotilde Reiss. The women are charged with espionage and taking part in a Western plot to overthrow the Iranian government.
A spokesman for the French president said Nicolas Sarkozy had learned with great joy and relief of the release from prison of Nazak Ashfar. He also called for Clotilde Reiss to be unconditionally released after Tehran is said to have offered a deal to free her from prison as long as she stays in Iran for the duration of the trial.