BBC | May 18, 2010

An Iranian convicted of the 1991 murder of Iranian former Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar has been released from prison in France.

Ali Vakili Rad, who faced a deportation order, boarded a flight from Orly airport to Tehran soon after leaving his prison in Poissy under escort.

Iran recently freed a French teacher who had been convicted of espionage after the presidential election.

France has denied any deal with Iran to secure Clotilde Reiss’s release.

Vakili Rad’s lawyer, Sorin Margulis, also denied any deal. “This must not be seen as an exchange,” he said, adding that Ms Reiss’s arrest had only delayed his client’s release.

Vakili Rad was convicted in 1994 of assassinating Bakhtiar, who had fled Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

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