BBC News: A French academic who battled spying charges in Iran for more than 10 months returned to France on 16 May. Clotilde Reiss was accused of collecting information and provoking rioters during the widely disputed June presidential elections in Iran. She was released on bail after a month and a half in Iran’s dreaded Evin prison but only on condition that she stayed at the French Embassy in Tehran until her trial was over.
The case of Clotilde Reiss aroused widespread controversy in France and put extra strain on the already tense relations between the two countries. According to the Associated Press, officials have denied speculation that Reiss’ return home was part of an exchange deal involving two Iranians held in France, one of whom was allowed home a little over a week ago. President Sarkozy thanked Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Syrian President Bashar Assad for their help in the case.