The release of Louis Arnaud, a gesture from Iran after a “gift” from Macron?

The Frenchman Louis Arnaud, “imprisoned in Iran for about two years, was finally able to return to Paris with the help of the Omani government”, reports the Iranian reformist newspaper Shargh. In 2022, this 35-year-old tourist was arrested with other Europeans by the Iranian authorities, accused of having participated in demonstrations against the regime after the death of Mahsa Aminia young Iranian Kurd who died after her arrest by the morality police.

His traveling companions were quickly released but the 30-year-old remained in prison before being sentenced to five years in prison for propaganda and endangering state security. A judged verdict “unacceptable” through Paris.

Why did the Iranian authorities agree to release this French national after twenty-one months of detention? Some suggest a quid pro quo, because the Iranian regime has the habit of using “imprisoned (foreigners) as leverage” in negotiations with the West, writes the Persian-speaking media Radio Farda. But in return for what? The site hostile to the regime Gooya News evoked “a gift from Emmanuel Macron to the supreme guide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei”.

People’s Mujahideen

The day before the release of Louis Arnaud, more than 4,000 kilometers from Tehran, the French border police carried out, jointly with Urssaf and firefighters, a control operation in the premises of the Sima association, located in Saint -Ouen-l’Aumône, in Val-d’Oise, in the greater Parisian suburbs.

This association, specifies the Persian-speaking media Kayhan London, is responsible for producing broadcasts for Simayé-Azadi, the official television of the People’s Mojahedin Organization, a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The Islamo-Marxist group, many of whose executives are in France, has campaigned for decades against the Iranian regime which considers it to be “terrorist”.

This operation was also welcomed in the official and semi-official press in Iran. Thus, state media strongly welcomed “the French attack” against the premises of Sima. For his part, the newspaper Hamshahri, organ of the municipality of Tehran, considered that the French police operation was “the result of honorable diplomacy” of the Iranian regime.

Furthermore, according to the Persian-language television channel established in London, Iran International, an Iranian citizen described as pro-regime and close to Iranian influence networks in France was placed in administrative detention at the beginning of June, with a view to his extradition to Iran.

Three other French people are still detained in Iran: Jacques Paris and his wife Cécile Kohler, two teachers arrested in May 2022 and accused of being spies, as well as a man named Olivier, whose last name has not been made public .

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