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Following Foiled Paris Terror Plot, France Restricts Diplomats’ Travel to Iran

Following a foiled terror plot in Paris earlier this summer, France is restricting diplomatic travel to Iran, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing an internal memo it obtained.

One of the reasons for the advisory telling diplomats to suspend travel to Iran except for urgent matters, was a foiled bomb plot that targeted an Iranian opposition group in June.

Four people were arrested in connection with the bomb plot, including an Iranian diplomat who was arrested in Germany. Previously, Austrian Airlines cancelled flights to Shiraz in the wake of the attempted terror attack. The diplomat arrested in connection with the plot was based in Austria.

“The behavior of the Iranian authorities suggests a hardening of their position vis-a-vis our country, as well as some of our allies,” Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, the secretary general of France’s foreign ministry, wrote in last week’s memo.

He added, “Given the known security risks … all departmental officers, whether from headquarters or (overseas) posts, are required to defer until further notice, except for urgent work, any travel plans in Iran.”

France’s decision to restrict diplomatic travel to Iran and acknowledgement that Iran is “hardening” its positions, comes at a time when European nations are attempting to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran. Last week, the European Union pledged 18 million euros ($20.6 million) in aid to Iran to help offset the costs of newly re-imposed United States sanctions.

France’s foreign ministry refused to comment on the contents of the memo or to say whether families of Iran-based diplomats would be returned to France.

In a travel advisory issued in May, France’s foreign ministry warned citizens against bringing electronic equipment into Iran and against taking too many pictures.

[Photo: Jebulon / WikiCommons ]