Brazil played 'fundamental' role in release of French academic

18th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Brazil played an "absolutely fundamental" role in securing the release of a young French academic who was arrested in Iran and accused of spying, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said Monday.

"Every time I was in Tehran, this issue was addressed. Brazil's role was absolutely fundamental," he said on his arrival in Madrid for an EU-Latin America summit.

He arrived in the Spanish capital from Tehran where he helped negotiate an agreement that commits Iran to depositing 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of low enriched uranium in Turkey in return for fuel for a research reactor.

The deal was spearheaded by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a last-ditch effort to avoid a new round of UN sanctions against Iran but Western power have been sceptical of it.

Clotilde Reiss, 24, was arrested in July last year as she attempted to leave Tehran, accused of spying on anti-government demonstrations and paraded on a televised show trial.

She returned to France on Sunday after her lawyer paid a huge fine.

© 2010 AFP

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