Iran releases two French nationals

Iran on Friday morning released two French citizens detained in Iran, namely Benjamin Briere and Bernard Phelan. Phelan also holds Irish citizenship.
In a phone call on Friday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna thanked her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian for Tehran’s humanitarian move of releasing the French nationals and called it “an effective and confidence-building step.”
Colonna also underscored that her recent visit with the Iranian foreign minister in Beijing was constructive.
Recollecting the recent remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron on Iran’s strategic independence, Amir-Abdollahian said that taking practical measures toward implementing such a strategy is an effective step in today’s evolving world.
Amir-Abdollahian and Colonna held the meeting in Beijing in early April. The meeting took place as high-ranking delegations of the two countries were in the Chinese capital.
Ireland lauds
Iran's action
In a phone call on Thursday, Ireland’s Foreign Minister Michael Martin also thanked Iran’s chief diplomat for releasing Phelan, a French-Irish national.
“I spoke to the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian yesterday and I acknowledge the assistance of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to Mr. Phelan’s release,” Martin said in a statement released by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
“I am also very grateful to our Consular team in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, our diplomats on the ground in our Mission in Tehran, and our Ambassador in Turkey accredited to Iran,” the statement said.
Phelan, 64, was arrested in October 2022 while participating in the unrest in Mashhad city of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran, which was instigated by the passing of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old girl who died in police custody on September 15, 2022.
Passing through judicial procedures, Phelan was sentenced to six years and six months of imprisonment. During that time, he was in contact with his family by phone, and according to the provisions of the Vienna Convention, benefited from all consular support and services.

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