Two French citizens detained by Iran were released on Friday on humanitarian grounds and made their way back to France, according to French and Iranian authorities.
One of the men, Benjamin Brière, a 38-year-old French tourist, had been held for three years. The other, Bernard Phelan, a 64-year-old French-Irish travel consultant, was arrested in October 2022. The two men left the prison in Mashhad, a city in northeastern Iran, where they had been kept and flew back to France, landing at an airport near Paris on Friday evening.
President Emmanuel Macron of France called their return “a relief.”
“Free, finally,” Mr. Macron said on Twitter, adding that France would “continue to work for the return of our compatriots still detained in Iran.”
Mr. Brière and Mr. Phelan had been accused of spying on Iran and acting against its security interests, charges that the two men and French authorities strenuously denied. The men had gone on intermittent hunger strikes to protest their…
This article was written by Aurelien Breeden and originally published on www.nytimes.com