Both of these men have been imprisoned in Iran, according to France’s foreign minister.
In a statement, the French government denounced these “baseless arrests.”
The couple’s identity was not revealed, but the leader of a French teaching union stated they were on vacation in Iran when they went missing.
Iran’s intelligence ministry said on Wednesday that two European nationals had been detained for allegedly plotting to “create unrest, social disruption and instability.
The ministry said that they were “agents” dispatched to Iran to “take advantage” of the demonstrations by teachers and other employees, but did not provide any proof to back up this claim.
More than a dozen Iranian towns saw protests earlier this month by teachers demanding better pay, working conditions, and the release of colleagues jailed before the demonstrations.
According to the French ambassador in Tehran, France is seeking consular access for its people in Iran and would stay “totally mobilized” until they are freed.
He informed the news agency that there was a “high suspicion” that two members of his staff — one of them and her spouse — were among those detained.
As many as a dozen Western people have been imprisoned by Iranian officials in recent years for having dual nationality, according to reports. Islamic Republic negotiators are said to have used human rights advocates as negotiating chips.
Benoît Brière, a French tourist, was sentenced to eight years in jail in January on espionage charges after it was claimed he took drone photos of “prohibited regions.”
Fariba Adelkhah, a French-Iranian professor, was sent back to prison in the same month after being released on house arrest for little over a year. “Propaganda against the establishment” is what she’s been sentenced to six years in prison for.
There was no evidence to support either conviction, France said.
A Swedish tourist was detained in Iran while on vacation last week, according to Sweden’s foreign office.
However, a spokeswoman for the court said on Tuesday that the death penalty for a convicted Swedish-Iranian doctor was “on the table.” Iran did not respond to the news.
In 2016, an emergency medicine doctor named Ahmadreza Djalali was detained and accused of espionage for Israel while on a business trip. According to Human Rights Watch, his prosecution was “grossly unjust” and included “torture-tainted confessions.” He was condemned to death in 2013.

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