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Paris condemns again the “outrageous video” of two Frenchmen who made “confessions” to spying


France on Friday condemned again the “outrageous video” showing what Iran described as “confessions” to espionage made by two French nationals arrested in May, denouncing “false confessions extracted under duress”.

“Iran today broadcast what it presented as the full report on the alleged confession of our compatriots Cecil Koehler and Jacques Barry. This outrageous video depicts false confessions extracted under duress,” the French Foreign Ministry said.

“France categorically denies these false accusations, and demands the immediate release of its arbitrarily detained citizens,” she added.

On Thursday, Paris considered Iran’s broadcast of what it described as “confessions” of espionage as “an inappropriate, disgusting, unacceptable and in violation of international law.”

In the tape, a woman says in French that her name is Cecile Koller and that she is an intelligence officer in the operations of the General Directorate of External Security (DGSO), France’s foreign intelligence service.

The two Frenchmen were arrested at a time when Iran was witnessing demonstrations by teachers demanding reforms related to wages and pensions and calling for the release of colleagues arrested during previous demonstrations.

On May 11, Iran announced the arrest of two Europeans who “entered the country with the aim of creating chaos and destabilizing society.” The French authorities condemned the arrest of the two French nationals as “baseless” and demanded their “immediate release.”

In early July, Tehran accused two “French trade unionists” arrested in May of “compromising the security of the country.”

The French foreign intelligence service did not comment on the issue when asked by AFP.