French academic Roland Marchal, detained in Iran since June

The detention of a second French national by Iran’s authorities has been revealed.

France’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Roland Marchal, a senior researcher from Science-Po University, was detained in June about the same time that French-Iranian national Fariba Adelkhah was seized.

The Ministry said that Marchal’s detention had been kept secret to avoid harm to negotiations for his release. But Paris was now publicly demanding the release of both academics.

“We want the Iranian authorities to show transparency in this dossier and act without delay to end the unacceptable situation,” spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said.

She said that Marchal has received consular visits and had a lawyer, but that Iran has refused this Adelkhah because of her dual nationality.

Nothing justifies the arrest of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal. Their activities are strictly academic and have no links whatsoever to any intelligence service and (they) do not carry out any political activity in Iran.

Marchal was seized at a Tehran airport in June as he arrived to spend the Eid religious holiday with his Science-Po colleague Adelkhah.

The two academics were detained just before French President Emmanuel Macron began a mediation effort between the US and Iran, hoping to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal and ease tension in the Persian Gulf.

See Iran Daily, July 16: French-Iranian Academic Adelkhah Arrested
Iran Daily, Sept 25: In New York, Macron Renews Mediation Effort Between Tehran and US

Marchal is a sociologist specializing in analysis of civil wars in sub-Saharan Africa. Adelkhah is a researcher in anthropology and social sciences, known for her book on changes in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Revolutionary Guards and Iranian intelligence services have seized a series of foreign and dual nationals despite the 2015 nuclear agreement.

*Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, held since January

*American Xijue Wang, a Ph.D. candidate in history, serving 10 years in prison.

*Anglo-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, serving a 5-year sentence

*Iranian-American oil executive Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer, 82, a former UN official, both condemned to 10 years

*Iranian-American-British environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, arrested with eight colleagues in January 2018

*American navy veteran Michael White, imprisoned in July 2018

*Austrian-Iranian IT specialist Kamran Ghaderi, serving 10 years

*Austrian-Iranian businessman Massud Mossaheb, the Secretary General of the Iranian-Austrian Friendship Society, held since January

Ahmadreza Jalali, a researcher who is a permanent resident of Sweden, has been sentenced to death.