Comment: Was Clotilde Reiss a French Spy in Iran?

Clotilde Reiss

Clotilde Reiss

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The case of Clotilde Reiss acquired new momentum earlier this week, after a former French intelligence official claimed she had collaborated with French secret services. Pierre Siramy, who until late last year was a senior official at DGSE, France’s external intelligence agency, said on Sunday that Reiss had worked “very well” for France. Reiss, a 25-year-old Farsi-speaking French-language assistant at the University of Isfahan, was arrested in Iran last year on accusations of being a ‘nuclear spy’. But last weekend her ten-year prison sentence was suddenly commuted to a fine, and she was able to return home to France, in an apparent secret deal with Paris, which included the release of two Iranian operatives held in France.

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Was release of French ‘spy’ part of Iranian-French deal? [updated]

Majid Kakavand

Majid Kakavand

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
This blog has closely monitored the case of Clotilde Reiss, a French language assistant who was arrested in Iran last year on accusations of being a ‘nuclear spy’. Despite the obviously nonsensical nature of the allegations, Reiss, a 25-year-old Farsi-speaking French-language assistant at the University of Isfahan, was forced to confess to her ‘crime’ on Iranian television. Last August, however, after spending nearly two months in the notorious Evin prison complex, Reiss was released on bail, on condition that she would remain confined inside the walls of the French embassy compound in Tehran. Then, last weekend, her ten-year prison sentence was suddenly commuted to a fine of $285,000, and she was able to return home to France on Sunday. Why the sudden change of heart on the part of Tehran? Read more of this post

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News you may have missed #0069

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News you may have missed #0027

  • Former KGB captain still fighting deportation from Canada. IntelNews has been keeping an eye on the case of Mikhail Alexander Lennikov, whose deportation from Canada has been ordered by a court. Lennikov, a former KGB captain, claims that if deported back to Russia he will be treated as a defector by the FSB. IntelNews has also learned that Lennikov now maintains a public blog, which he updates daily.
  • New book claims Errol Flynn worked as a Nazi spy. The Australian-born star, who became a Hollywood legend in the 1930s, was known for his anti-Semitic views. But now a new book claims that declassified CIA files prove Flynn collaborated with German Nazi intelligence in gathering information on German socialists who fought in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Iranian spying allegations nonsensical, says France. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that Tehran’s claims that 23-year-old French student Clotilde Reiss was a spy in Iran are “stupid”. “Do you think my country would be so naive and shorthanded as to send a 23-year-old woman to spy in Iran? That’s stupid, it’s not possible”, said Mr. Kuchner during a visit to Lebanon.
  • Interesting account of Israel’s only spy history memorial. Matti Friedman, of The Associated Press, has written an interesting account of the little known Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center in Tel Aviv.

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