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Paris announces the release of two French detainees in Iran

Frenchman Benjamin Brière and Franco-Irishman Bernard Phelan, who were detained in Mashhad prison in northeastern Iran, have been released, we learned from the French Foreign Ministry on Friday. The first, aged 37, was arrested in May 2020 on charges of espionage. The second, 64, a tourism consultant, was arrested on October 3, 2022, for undermining national security. The two men, who have always maintained their innocence, were released on humanitarian grounds after their state of health had deteriorated considerably in recent months.

Emmanuel Macron welcomed these releases and affirms that France will continue “to act for the return of our compatriots still detained in Iran”. “Free at last. Benjamin Brière and Bernard Phelan will find their loved ones. It is a relief. I welcome their release. Thank you to everyone who worked towards this outcome,” he wrote in a tweet.

The head of Irish diplomacy Micheal Martin said he was “relieved” of the release of Bernard Phelan, a tourism consultant. “Bernard Phelan was released from prison in Iran and is now on his way back to his family. The past seven months have been a very difficult ordeal for Bernard and his family and I am happy and relieved that it is now over,” he said in a statement.

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