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Macron demands explanation after arrest of Franco-Iranian researcher in Iran

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Macron demands explanation after arrest of Franco-Iranian researcher in Iran
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REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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French President Emmanuel Macron has demanded an explanation from Iran for their arrest of Franco-Iranian academic researcher Fariba Adelkhah.

The 60-year-old anthropologist is a senior research fellow at Sciences Po university in Paris. Her arrest comes at a time when Macron is working to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington over the Iran nuclear deal.

"What's happened worries me a lot," Macron said during a news conference in Belgrade. "We were informed for several days and I had the opportunity to express not only my disagreement but my desire to have clarifications from President (Hassan) Rouhani,

"I’m waiting for the clarifications, but it's obvious that France protects its citizens."

"No explanations at this stage have been given to me to explain in a valid way this arrest," Macron said.

On Monday, France’s foreign ministry demanded Adelkhah be given consular access “without delay”. It did not confirm when she was arrested.

"The French authorities in this difficult context have taken steps with Iranian authorities to get information from them on her situation and the conditions of her arrest and asked for consular access as is foreseen in these circumstances, a necessary precursor for her quick release," foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement.

"No satisfactory response has been given to these requests."

Euronews contacted Iran's embassy in Paris, which said in a statement that they had heard about the arrest and that they would do the necessary to obtain more information through the "competent services".

"It is obvious that by receiving additional information on the modality and evolution of the facts, the press service will keep the public informed of what happens next."

Gholanhossein Esmaili, Iran's judiciary spokesman confirmed the arrest in a live online broadcast on Tuesday.

"But due to the nature of the case, this is not the proper time to give any information about it.

"More transparent information will be provided as the case progresses," he added.

Iran does not recognise dual nationality and so dual nationals detained there are often deprived of consular support from their second country.

In 2009, Iran arrested another French academic Clotilde Reiss for 10 months.

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