New Europe:

France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday announced the country would take a tougher stance with Iran after Tehran sentenced a French-Iranian academic to prison.

“This sentencing was founded on no serious elements and was politically motivated. So we firmly say to the Iranian authorities to release Fariba Adelkhah without delay. This decision makes our relations with the Iranian authorities a lot more difficult”, he said.

Earlier this month, Iran sentenced Adelkhah to five years in prison “for gathering and conspiring against national security”, and one year for “propaganda against the Islamic republic”.

Adelkhah, a specialist in Shia Islam and a research director at Sciences Po University in Paris, was arrested in June last year. Her trial started on March 3 at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court.

Adelkhah’s French colleague Roland Marchal, who was detained along with her, was released in March in a prisoner swap, after France released Iranian engineer Jallal Rohollahnejad, who faced extradition to the United States over accusations he violated US sanctions against Iran.

In December, France summoned the Iranian ambassador to Paris and sought permission for consular officials to visit Adelkhah and Marchal.

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