Iran security violent at French ambassador's house: ministry

16th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Iranian security services inflicted "unacceptable acts of violence" on French diplomatic personnel and others at an embassy residence in Tehran, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

It said France had summoned the Iranian ambassador in Paris to complain.

"On November 14, particularly serious incidents took place at the entry to the ambassadorial residence in Tehran," the French ministry said in a statement.

"Its entry was blocked by unidentified security services who proceeded to arrest guests of the French ambassador and carried out unacceptable acts of violence including against French diplomatic personnel," it added.

"French authorities this morning summoned the ambassador of Iran in Paris to express their strongest condemnation of this extremely serious violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations," it said.

An official told AFP that security officers arrested some guests arriving at the residence of French ambassador Bernard Poletti, who had invited French and Iranian guests there for an evening of Persian music.

"One member of the embassy's diplomatic team was even treated violently," the official said.

France and Iran have had strained relations in recent months, with France backing tough new UN sanctions against Iran in June for its nuclear programme and pressing it on the issue of human rights.

A French academic, Clotilde Reiss, was arrested and held in Iran in July 2009, accused of allegedly participating in demonstrations against the disputed outcome of the presidential election, and released in May.

France has also joined in international opposition to the sentencing of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a woman who faces death by stoning in Iran.

France said in February that stones were thrown at the French, German and Italian embassies in Tehran by pro-government activists.

© 2010 AFP

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