Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

The recent appointment of Nicolas Roche as France’s new envoy to Iran has brought the tensions between the two nations to the forefront. The French foreign ministry has stated that Roche has made it clear to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that Iran must immediately release seven French nationals who have been detained in the country. The Iranian President has criticized France’s stance on Islamophobia, while Roche has been mandated to improve misunderstandings in the relationship between the two nations.

Ties between France and Iran have significantly deteriorated in recent months, with the arbitrary detention of seven French citizens in Iran being referred to as equivalent to state hostage-taking. The deputy foreign ministry spokesman, Francois Delmas, has described the policy as “reprehensible”. He has also stated that the continued detention of these citizens will only worsen the relationship between Iran and France as well as Europe.

The French ambassador has demanded the immediate release of these citizens and has stated that the conditions under which they are being held are unacceptable. Paris is particularly concerned about the health of Franco-Irish citizen Bernard Phelan and French citizen Benjamin Briere, who last week began a hunger strike. The French government has held Iran responsible for their health and has demanded that Phelan receive immediate medical care, which he is still being denied.

In recent years, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners, mostly on charges related to espionage and security. Some groups have accused Iran of trying to extract concessions from other countries through such arrests, however, Iran denies taking prisoners for diplomatic leverage, as it does not recognize dual nationality.

In conclusion, the appointment of Nicolas Roche as France’s new envoy to Iran has highlighted the deteriorating relationship between the two nations. The French government has made it clear that the immediate release of its detained citizens is a top priority and has demanded that they be treated humanely while in custody. The outcome of this situation remains to be seen, however, it is clear that Iran’s actions could have severe consequences for its diplomatic relationships with France and Europe.

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