The state TV of Iran has aired what it referred to as “confessions” by a French couple detained five months ago, a move the Paris government condemned as “shameful, revolting and unacceptable.”
The French man and woman were detained in May when Iran was on the scene of demonstrations by teachers demanding pay raises & calling for the release of detained colleagues.
The broadcast of their alleged confessions comes as Iran grapples with a wave of women-led protests that has erupted on September 16 after the death of Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in custody.
Iran has repeatedly blamed outside forces of stirring up the protests and last week announced that nine foreign nationals- including from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands had been detained.
In the video broadcast on Thursday on Iranian state television, a woman speaking French & claiming to be Celine Kohler is heard stating that she is “an agent of the DGSE” French intelligence service.
She added the couple were in Iran “to ready the conditions for the revolution & the overthrow of the Iranian Islamist regime.”
She asserted that they had planned to finance strikes and demonstrations & even use weapons “to fight against the police.”
As per her partner Jacques Paris, who was also claimed to be shown in the video, the DGSE’s ideas”were to put pressure on the Iranian government”.
The broadcast was strongly condemned by the French government.
“Cecile Kohler and Jacques Paris have been arbitrarily detained in Iran since May 2022, and as such are state hostages,” its foreign ministry said.
“The staging of their supposed confessions is shameful, revolting, unacceptable and contrary to international law,” it said in an unusually harshly-worded statement.
Iran had announced on May 11 the arrest of two Europeans “who entered the country with the aim of triggering chaos and destabilising society”.
It later said that it had arrested two French nationals who had entered the country on tourist visas.