French Teacher Held in Iran Will Be Allowed to Leave
New York Times / Steven Erlanger
15-May-2010 (one comment)

PARIS — A young French teacher arrested on spying charges last July for photographing demonstrations in Iran will be allowed to leave the country after paying a fine of about $300,000, her lawyer said in Tehran on Saturday.

The teacher, Clotilde Reiss, 24, has been in the custody of the French Embassy in Iran after spending six weeks in jail. Her lawyer, Mohammad Ali Mahdavi Sabet, said a court had convicted her but reduced a 10-year sentence to the fine. He said that he would retrieve her passport on Sunday and that she would be able to leave Iran.

The French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bernard Valero, said in a statement that “we have taken note of the legal authorities’ decision concerning Clotilde Reiss and are therefore expecting her return without delay.”

French officials have said the charges against her were baseless and also denied that her release was in exchange for a French court’s decision on May 5 to deny an American extradition request for an Iranian businessman accused of violating the trade embargo against Iran. Iran praised the court’s action as “a positive point in Franco-Iranian relations.”

Justice Department officials in Washington said that they suspected that the release of the businessman, Majid Kakavand, 37, was a quid pro quo for the release of Ms. Reiss.

Ms. Reiss was arrested at the Tehran airport on July 1 as she prepared to leave the country after a six-month teaching stint in Isfahan. She h... >>>

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by yolanda on

It sounds like a quid pro quo to me! IRI is also hungry for $$$!

This kind of people-swapping will happen again and again!