FILE PHOTO: Benjamin Briere/KL./

 – An Iranian appeals court has confirmed an eight-year, eight-month sentence for jailed French national Benjamin Briere on spying charges, one of his Iranian lawyers, Saeid Dehghan, tweeted on Tuesday.

Briere was arrested in Iran in May 2020 after flying a helicam – a remote-controlled mini-helicopter used to obtain aerial or motion images – in the desert near the border with Turkmenistan. He was sentenced in January.

Briere has consistently denied any wrongdoing and France has called on Iran to release him.

The ruling comes at a sensitive time as the United States and Iran resumed indirect talks in Qatar in an effort to break an impasse over how to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, including France.

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(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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