| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

France lambasts Iran after spying ‘confession’ aired

The country’s health ministry announced on Thursday that it is examining samples of cough syrups manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals for export after the World Health Organization connected its products to the deaths of scores of children in Gambia.

The deaths of 66 children in the West African country have harmed India’s reputation as a “global pharmacy” that distributes medications to other continents, particularly Africa.

Iran’s state media often air purported confessions by suspects in politically charged cases.

“I am Cecile Kohler, I am an intelligence and operations agent at the DGSE (Directorate General for External Security) … We were in Iran to prepare the ground for the revolution and the overthrow of the regime of Islamic Iran,” Kohler said in the video, while wearing a headscarf, refering to the French external intelligence service.

The video sparked outrage in Paris with Foreign ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre saying for the first time that the two citizens, along with two others also being held in Iran, were “state hostages”.

“The staging of their alleged confessions is outrageous, appalling, unacceptable and contrary to international law. This masquerade reveals the contempt for human dignity that characterizes the Iranian authorities,” Legendre said in one France’s statements on Iran in several years.

“These alleged confessions extracted under duress have no basis, nor did the reasons given for their arbitrary arrest.

State TV said the French couple had entered Iran with “chunks of money … which was meant to fund strikes and demonstrations.”

“Our goal at the French security service is to pressure the government of Iran,” said Jacques Paris in the video.

  • Reuters