The two European nationals arrested in Iran were identified as Cécile Kohler, the head of the biggest federations of teachers' unions in France and her husband, Iran International has learned.
Iran's Intelligence Ministry announced the detention of two European nationals on Wednesday without providing any details about their nationality or how and when they were arrested.
Kohler is the head of the National Federation of Education, Culture and Vocational Training – known by their French abbreviation FNEC FP-FO – that is a trade union representing education and related staff in France.
According to information received by Iran International, Kohler and her husband, who is also a member of the FNEC FP-FO, traveled to Iran as tourists and not on behalf of the organization.
They arrived in Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport on April 29 and stayed in Tehran for two days, and then went to Kashan and Esfahan. The couple were returning to Paris on May 8 when they were arrested.
Their trip to Iran coincided with intensification of Iran’s crackdown on teachers’ protests and union activists over their latest round of widespread rallies which were held on May 1, the international Labor Day.
Considering the activities of the FNEC FP-FO, the couple fits the bill for the scenarios Islamic Republic uses as pretext to arrest foreign nationals.
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry alleged in its statement on Wednesday that the two met with members of the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations, which has been the organizer of several rounds of nationwide protests since last year.