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French court frees Iranian PM's assassin

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French court frees Iranian PM's assassin


A French court has freed an Iranian agent jailed 16 years ago for murdering the Shah’s last prime minister Shapour Bakhtiar.
Ali Vakili Rad had been serving a life sentence for stabbing Bakhtiar at his home just outside Paris on August 7, 1991. Under French law, Vakili Rad became eligible for parole last July. He will now be deported.
His release comes two days after Tehran freed French academic Clotilde Reiss, who had been accused of spying.
Shapour Bakhtiar briefly served as Prime Minister of Iran in 1979 before fleeing to France later that year after the Islamic Revolution.
Vakili Rad’s lawyer dismissed suggestions of a deal between Paris and Tehran, pointing out that he argued in court for his client’s release before Reiss was detained last year.
Reiss was arrested at Tehran airport on July 1 and convicted on charges of threatening national security. She had been in the country to work on her master’s thesis but Iranian officials accused her of being a French government agent.

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