Envoy to meet French academic detained in Iran-source
The French ambassador to Iran will on Thursday meet a French university teaching assistant arrested in Iran last week for espionage, a senior Western diplomat said, Reuters reported.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy had on Tuesday demanded that Iran immediately release the 23-year-old woman, dismissing the spying charges against her as "fanciful in the extreme".
"Ambassador (Bernard Poletti) had an appointment this morning to meet her. It will be the first real contact with her (since her arrest)," said the diplomat, who asked not to be named. "I do not know whether they have met yet."
The woman was preparing to return home after spending five months as a French language teaching assistant at the University of Isfahan when she was arrested on spying charges on July 1.
Iranian authorities accuse the West of inciting unrest in the Islamic republic following the June 12 vote in which hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected. Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday it was the world's "freest" election.
French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner has told parliament the woman had been present at protest demonstrations following Iran's election and had posted some photographs and comments on the Internet.
The election, which defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi said was rigged, led to the most widespread street protests in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.