France today announced plans to release an Iranian government agent convicted of murdering Shapour Bakhtiar, the last Iranian prime minister to serve under the shah, whose regime was replaced by that of the Islamic Republic in 1979. Ali Vakili Rad stabbed Bakhtiar to death in 1991 and was convicted in 1994.
The news comes one day after Iran freed French academic Clotilde Reiss, who had been jailed for ten months on espionage charges. Iran had linked the two cases, but Paris denies it cut a deal to secure her freedom.
Reiss’s release also follows France’s refusal to extradite to the United States an Iranian national accused of buying electronic components on behalf of Iran’s military. Majid Kakavand, an engineer, was arrested over a year ago. He was released and flew home to Iran Friday.