France has denied that a French academic set free by Iran recently was a French spy, however, there is speculation that her release was part of deal with Iran that will allow two Iranians to go free.
In the weeks prior to the French academic’s, Clotilde Reiss, release France refused to permit the extradition to the U.S. of Majid Kakavand, an Iranian engineer wanted for the alleged illegal export of electronic parts for use by Iran’s military. Kakavand was returned safely to Iran.
France’s interior minister also signed an expulsion order for Ali Vakili Rad, an Iranian national convicted of assassinating former Iranian prime minister Shahpour Bakhtiar in Paris in 1991. French judges requested this document prior to allowing Rad’s parole request. It is thought that the judges approval of his parole at the same time as Reiss’ release was part of a secret prisoner exchange deal between France and Iran. Both countries have denied any such plan.
Reiss was arrested last July for espionage in the Iranian city of Isfahan following Iran’s post election political unrest. She was accused of participating in anti-government protests and transmitting photographs of the protests via email to her family and to a research institute linked to the French embassy in Tehran.
Article 1 of the extradition treaty between the U.S. and France obligates each State to extradite to the other, any person whom the competent authorities in the Requesting State have charged with or convicted of an extraditable offense. Such extradition, however, must be carried out pursuant to the terms of the treaty.
Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.
The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at one of the offices listed above.