Iran - Q&A from the press briefing (21 December 2022)


Q: Yesterday, Catherine Colonna met with her Iranian counterpart in Amman and asked him to immediately release the French nationals being held in Iran. The support committees for Benjamin Brière and Fariba Adelkhah have called on France to reconsider its negotiation strategy. What is your reaction to this? Are any prisoner negotiations with the Iranians taking place today? Thank you.

A: The Minister did have the opportunity to give remarks at the end of the summit that was held yesterday in Jordan. She shared with the press that in her exchanges with her Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the conference, they did specifically discuss the French hostages – the seven French hostages who are currently being arbitrarily detained in Iran. She was able to reiterate our extremely strong messages, which, as you know, were also conveyed by President Macron, calling for the immediate release of French prisoners in Iran. She stressed that their detention is absolutely unjustifiable and completely arbitrary and that the Iranian authorities’ hostage-taking policy must therefore end.

Q: (…) I have a follow-up question in response to my colleague’s question. Can you tell us what the Iranian Minister said in response to this firm request by France? Moreover, in the open letter to President Macron signed by the committees that my colleague mentioned, reference is made to the possibility that there may be other hostages, which is to say, other French nationals being held in addition the seven official hostages. Would you like to comment on this matter?

A: As the Minister reiterated, there are currently seven French hostages being held arbitrarily in Iran. I will not get into the response given by the Iranians as the Minister made very clear remarks on this matter yesterday.