Sarkozy calls for Iran to drop charges against French academic

PARIS, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy urges Iran to drop all charges against a French academic and has credited Syria with helping win her release, a day after the release of Clotilde Reiss from prison in Tehran, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

    "This release on bail is just a first step," said Romain Nadal. "We demand that the legal proceedings against Clotilde Reiss and Nazak Afshar, which nothing can justify, are dropped as soon as possible."

    Nadal also said French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke directly with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to thank him for support in negotiating Reiss' release.

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