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Iran Drops Spy Charge Against Detained French Academic

Franco-Iranian academic Adelkhah Fariba (file photo)

A lawyer for an Iranian-French academic detained in Iran since 2019 says Iran has dropped a spying charge against her.

"The espionage charge has been dropped" for Sciences Po University academic Fariba Adelkhah, attorney Said Dehghan told the AFP news agency on January 7.

Dehghan welcomed the move, noting that a conviction of espionage in Iran can result in the death penalty.

Dehghan said the prosecution has also dropped its case against Adelkhah on charges of "disturbing public order."

Adelkhah still faces two other charges from Iranian authorities. They include spreading "propaganda against the political system" of Iran and "conspiracy against national security."

Adelkhah, an expert on Iran and Shi'ite Islam, was arrested in Tehran in June 2019.

A colleague of hers at Sciences Po University, Roland Marchal, was also arrested by Iranian authorities in June while he was visiting Adelkhah.

Iran does not recognize dual nationality and has repeatedly rebuffed calls from foreign governments for consular access to those it has detained during legal proceedings.

Based on reporting by AFP and Le Monde