French academic denies she spied on Iran

19th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

A young French academic who was arrested in Iran and accused of spying firmly denied Wednesday that she had been working for France's overseas intelligence service.

Clotilde Reiss, 24, was allowed to leave Iran on Saturday, 10 months after she was arrested and accused of gathering information on anti-government protests, a charge both she and the French government insist was false.

On her return to Paris, however, a former member of the DGSE spy agency promoting a controversial memoir on his own life in the service claimed she had indeed been a French intelligence asset.

"I categorically deny the lies of former DGSE members," Reiss said, in a statement to AFP. "I have never been in touch with the intelligence agencies. I don't know these people who claim I may have had a service number.

"I'm shocked to discover such a climate of suspicion in my own country, when that's what I had to live with in Iran," she added.

On Monday former DGSE agent Pierre Siramy told Europe 1 radio that Reiss had worked as an unpaid informant for French agents.

"She wasn't a spy. She was a contact of our representative in Tehran. She wrote reports on the atmosphere and in the area of arms proliferation," he claimed. The French government firmly denied the allegation.

© 2010 AFP

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