Iran announces release of German in prisoner swap
A statue of justice stands above the main entrance to the Wedding District courthouse in Berlin on January 24, 2020. John MACDOUGALL / AFP
Text by: RFI Follow
Iran announced Tuesday morning that it had released a German national sentenced to three years in prison. On Monday, an Iranian citizen detained in Germany was released. It is indeed an exchange which was concluded between Tehran and Berlin, in a tense context between Iran and the Western countries.
Ahmad Khalili is the name of the Iranian national who was able to return to his country on Monday. He was detained in Germany and the United States demanded his extradition, claiming that he had violated American sanctions against Iran .
Germany has therefore not extradited Ahmad Khalili. We learn this Tuesday that his release took place in the context of an exchange, since a German national detained in Iran was released almost simultaneously and was also able to return to his country.
This prisoner exchange scenario is known. Thus, last December, Washington and Tehran were each able to obtain the release of one of their nationals. And this despite the high level of hostility between the two countries.
And the question also arises for France , since two French researchers are currently detained in Iran, and an Iranian engineer has been in prison in France for more than a year. Again, the United States requests his extradition, accusing him of attempting to import high-tech equipment into Iran in violation of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Seized by the lawyers of the Iranian engineer, the Court of Cassation is due to rule next week. And even if it authorizes the extradition of Jalal Rouhollahnejad, it will then be up to the French government to accept or not his extradition to the United States. A very political decision while at the same time Iran will prepare to try the two French researchers detained in Tehran.
The trial of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal will open on March 3, according to their lawyer. The two Frenchmen were arrested last June in Tehran and are being prosecuted for "propaganda" and "collusion with a view to attacking national security".
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