Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Iran Frees French Researcher in Apparent Prisoner Swap

Iran Frees French Researcher in Apparent Prisoner Swap

PARIS - President Emmanuel Macron announced Saturday that Iran has freed a French researcher imprisoned in the Islamic republic after France released an Iranian threatened with extradition to the US.
Macron "is happy to announce the release of Roland Marchal, imprisoned in Iran since June 2019" but he "urges the Iranian authorities to immediately free" fellow researcher Fariba Adelkhah, his office said.
France has for months demanded that Iran release Adelkhah and her partner Marchal, who were detained last year accused of plotting against national security. Their trial began in early March.
Adelkhah is a citizen of both Iran and France, but Tehran does not recognise dual nationality.
Iran has in recent months carried out prisoner exchanges with the US, Australia and Germany.
Marchal is due in France later Saturday, according to Macron's office.
The Iranian judiciary's news agency Mizan Online reported Iranian Jallal Rohollahnejad had been freed by France on Friday.
Iranian state television showed images of him hugging members of his family during an emotional reunion in Tehran.
Rohollahnejad, "an Iranian engineer incarcerated for more than a year in French prisons and accused of circumventing American sanctions against Iran, has been freed today," Mizan said.
US Navy veteran Michael White was freed on Thursday. He was handed over in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad to a team from Switzerland, which represents US interests in the absence of diplomatic relations, and flown to the capital Tehran, the US State Department said.
Iran this week also freed for two weeks Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the media organisation's philanthropic arm.
Iran is still holding US citizens Siamak Namazi -- who was convicted on charges that include espionage and collaboration with the US government -- his father Baquer and environmental expert Morad Tahbaz.
The Islamic republic in December freed Xiyue Wang, a US academic, in an exchange for scientist Massoud Soleimani and said it was open to further swaps. (AFP)