Dual Iranian-French nationality, academic, Fariba Adelkhah has been arrested in Iran on spying charges and is said to have been interrogated for several weeks, since her arrest in Iran, during the last week of June. Agents of the IRGC’s Intelligence branch arrested Fariba Adelkhah, a Political Science fellow and researcher at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). News of her arrest however was suppressed until now.
Adelkhah had been in Iran and Afghanistan for a few months conducting research, along with a French student. In recent years Adelkhah had been conducting research on Qom seminaries and, in cooperation with research centers that she had been working with, brought Qom clergymen to Paris to attend seminars on numerous occasions. There is no information about the French student who had accompanied Adelkhah.
The French embassy in Tehran is aware of her arrest. The arrest comes at a time of tense relations between Iran and France, prior to Emmanuel Macron’s visits Iran.
This is not the first time Iran has taken French prisoners. On July 1st, 2009 on her way home to France Clotilde Reiss, a French student who was also arrested. She was charged with spying for taking photographs of the 2009 Green movement protests that she had emailed to a friend.
In 2005, Stephane Lherbier, a French skipper who had taken German tourist, Donald Klein, sailing were arrested and charged with accidentally straying into restricted waters during a fishing excursion in the Persian Gulf.