The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 16, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Situation of Roland Marchal

◢  Situation of Ruhollah Zam

◢  Iran

Situation of Roland Marchal

Can you confirm that Roland Marchal, a researcher at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, has been detained in Iran since the summer? On what grounds?

Can you confirm that French diplomatic services in Baghdad had access to the second French researcher held by Iran and what did you tell the Iranian authorities following his detention?

Do you have any news on the detention of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal in Iran? Has the French Embassy been able to have contact with these two people?

We confirm that Roland Marchal is currently being detained by the Iranian authorities.

As in the case of Fariba Adelkhah, as soon as we were informed of his situation, we mobilized our efforts to gain his release.

We had the opportunity to convey our strong condemnation to the Iranian authorities and to express our desire for clarification.

We have promptly taken all possible steps to obtain the necessary information from the Iranian authorities concerning their situation and their swift release. We have demanded our right to exercise consular protection in these two cases. Our consul in Tehran has been able to visit them several times. He is receiving assistance from an attorney.

These steps were taken in agreement with the family and loved ones. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is in regular and close touch with Roland Marchal's family and loved ones.

We hope the Iranian authorities will demonstrate transparency in this case and will act without delay to end this unacceptable situation.

The French authorities are fully mobilized and will remain so until the release of our two compatriots.

Situation of Ruhollah Zam

Can you confirm that Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam had a French passport or residence permit and that he was under the protection of French services? How do you respond to the announcement that he was captured by the Revolutionary Guards?

The wife of Ruhollah Zam, the Iranian dissident arrested by the Revolutionary Guards, has asked the French authorities for help. What is France's response?

Ruhollah Zam, an Iranian national, has refugee status in France and as such has a residence permit issued in conjunction with asylum proceedings. Mr. Zam does not have French citizenship.

Mr. Zam is therefore free to enter and leave the country, and did leave on October 11.

We currently have no specific information concerning the circumstances of Mr. Zam's arrest outside of France. We are following this case very closely.

We reiterate our commitment to upholding the rule of law and in particular, the freedom of expression and the right of asylum, and therefore strongly confirm Ruhollah Zam's arrest.


What do you say to the Iranian President who announced on Monday that Tehran would continue to reduce its obligations under the nuclear agreement and that Iran would begin work on centrifuges IR‑7 and IR‑9?

Together with our E3 partners (Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European External Action Service), we have repeatedly expressed our deep concern over Iran's recent announcements and actions that run counter to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA).

We remain committed to the JCPoA and urge Iran to reconsider its decisions that run counter to that agreement, and to fully adhere to its obligations. Iran must refrain from entering a new and particularly troubling phase by adopting new measures that can only contribute to an escalation of tensions.

Iran must also cooperate fully with the IAEA under the JCPoA and its other nuclear obligations.

France remains fully committed to de-escalating tensions, in accordance with the parameters defined by the President in Biarritz and New York.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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