France tells citizens to leave Iran ‘as soon as possible’



France has urged all French nationals to leave Iran “as soon as possible”, warning that they risk “arrests, arbitrary detentions and unfair trials”.

The French Foreign Ministry, in an update published on its website on Friday, warned that “all French visitors, including dual nationals, are at high risk of arrest, arbitrary detention and unfair trial. “.

The risk also applies to those who are there for a tourist visit, according to the update.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also warned that in the event of arrest or detention, “respect for fundamental rights and the security of the person are not guaranteed”.

Earlier on Friday, the Foreign Ministry called on Iran to release two French citizens, who were shown in a video released by Iranian state media saying they were French intelligence agents.

The heavily edited documentary-style video that was released on Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency on Thursday showed two French citizens, Cécile Kohler and Jacques Paris, claiming to work for France’s foreign intelligence service, DGSE.

Speaking in French, Kohler says in the video, “we were in Iran to prepare the conditions for the revolution in Iran and the overthrow of the Iranian Islamic regime.”

Also, speaking in front of the camera, Paris appears in the video separately and declares: “the objectives of the DGSE, it is to put pressure on the government”.

The Foreign Office said the “alleged confession” had no basis and it believed the detainees were speaking under duress.

“Ms. Cécile Kohler and Mr. Jacques Paris have been arbitrarily detained in Iran since May 2022 and are as such hostages of the State. France reiterates its request for immediate release,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“The staging of their alleged confessions is outrageous, appalling, unacceptable and contrary to international law. This masquerade reveals the contempt for human dignity that characterizes the Iranian authorities. These alleged confessions extracted under duress have no basis, nor the reasons given for their arbitrary arrest,” the statement continued.

France reiterated its demand for the immediate release of Kohler and Paris in accordance with Iran’s international obligations under the Vienna Convention of April 24, 1963.

The ongoing popular uprising in Iran has posed a significant political threat to the ruling clerical regime.

Protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, who died shortly after her arrest by vice squad on September 13.

Amini’s name has since become a rallying cry for protesters across the country.

France spoke out condemning his death as well as the Iranian government’s subsequent crackdown on protesters.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna told the European Parliament on Tuesday that France condemns “the widespread and disproportionate use of force against non-violent protesters”, calling for the imposition of sanctions against senior Iranian officials.


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