“Tudo isso pq o Governo Lula é autoritário e inimigo da liberdade de imprensa.”
French Journalist Clotilde Reissout of Iranian jail
Monday, May 17, 2010 12:07 GMT
In a statement, Sarkozy thanked Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Syrian President Bashar Assad for the role they played in setting free the French journalist Clotilde Reiss who was arrested in Iran for 10 month. Reiss arrived to France Sunday noon on board of a government plane. After being welcomed by Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace, Reiss thanked her supporters, including the president, “who proclaimed my innocence as soon as I was arrested.”
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner denied on Sunday that there was any link between these decisions. “There was no horse-trading,” Kouchner said.
“There is no connection between these two Iranian cases, which were dealt with by the French justice system, and the freedom of our hostage,” he added.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast also told the semi-official Fars news agency that there was no connection between the various judicial procedures.
Kouchner told Radio J that there was “no bargaining” relating to the Kakavand case, nor to a French court’s upcoming decision on whether to free Ali Vakili Rad, who was convicted of assassinating former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar at his home outside Paris in 1991. That decision is expected Tuesday. Officials in both countries denied widespread speculation that Reiss’ return home was part of a tit-for-tat deal. However Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said in December 18, 2009 that Reiss issue solution is in the hands of French officials.