Iran ‘to release’ French lecturer

Clotilde Reiss in court in Tehran on August 2009

A French lecturer charged with spying in Iran after last June’s disputed election will be allowed to leave the country on Sunday, says her lawyer.

Clotilde Reiss was sentenced to 10 years in jail at a hearing on Saturday, but this was commuted to a fine of $285,000 (£190,000), said her lawyer.

The 25-year-old was accused of espionage and e-mailing photographs of anti-government protests.

The French foreign ministry said it was "awaiting her return without delay".

She has been staying at the French embassy in the capital Tehran since she was bailed six weeks after her arrest in July last year.

France frees Iranian

Ms Reiss had been on a six-month teaching and research assignment in the central city of Isfahan.

Her lawyer, Mohammad Ali Mahdavi, said he had paid the fine on her behalf and would collect her passport from the authorities on Sunday.

The BBC’s Hugh Schofield in the French capital says that with France at the forefront of efforts to punish Iran for its nuclear programme, there has been suspicion Ms Reiss was being held to put pressure on Paris.

Last week, France freed an Iranian engineer whom it detained for allegedly exporting electronic parts illegally to sell to Iran’s military.

The US had wanted to extradite Majid Kakavand, but a French court rejected the request last week and he was allowed return home.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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