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Iran lashes out at French ‘interference’ over jailed academic accused of espionage

Iran lashes out at French ‘interference’ over jailed academic accused of espionage
Tehran has accused Paris of interfering in the case of an Iranian-French academic who has been arrested over accusations of spying.

France’s protests against the imprisonment of Fariba Adelkhah and another academic, Roland Marchal, constitute an “act of interference” that has “no legal basis,” Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement on Sunday.

"Creating hype cannot stop Iran's judiciary from handling the case, especially considering the security charges the two face," Mousavi said.

France announced on Friday that it had summoned Iran's ambassador in order to protest against Adelkhah and Marchal’s imprisonment, describing their detention as “intolerable.”

Adelkhah has reportedly gone on hunger strike, prompting the French foreign ministry to express its “grave concern” over her condition and demand consular access.

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A specialist in Shiite Islam and a research director at Sciences Po University in Paris, Adelkhah has been detained by Tehran for carrying out “acts of espionage”. Her arrest was confirmed in July.

Marchal, a French national, was detained for "conspiring against national security". According to his lawyer, it happened when he visited Adelkhah.

Mousavi said that he has been granted consular access “multiple times”.

Iran does not recognize dual nationality and typically denies consular access to detained defendants who have more than one passport.

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