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Man arrested in Paris over bomb threat at Iran consulate, police say no explosive found after probe (WATCH)

French authorities on Friday arrested an individual who allegedly entered the Iranian consulate in Paris, asserting possession of explosives, according to police and prosecutors. 

BREAKING Police cordon off Iran consulate in Paris after man threatens to blow himself up (WATCH) snt
First Published Apr 19, 2024, 6:27 PM IST

French authorities on Friday arrested an individual who allegedly entered the Iranian consulate in Paris, asserting possession of explosives, according to police and prosecutors. Following the incident, neither the man nor the premises were found to possess any explosives or weapons after he voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement.

The Paris prosecutor's office stated that police took the suspect, born in Iran in 1963, into custody after he voluntarily left the consulate, having apparently made threats of violence while inside.

Also read: Explained: Isfahan's significance as Iran's nuclear hub and why Israel chose this site for its attack

But "no explosive materials have been observed at this stage," either on him, in his car or in the building, it said.


Earlier, a police source informed AFP that the consulate alerted law enforcement following a witness account of "a man entering with either a grenade or an explosive belt."

An AFP journalist reported that the entire neighborhood surrounding the consulate in Paris' 16th district was cordoned off, with a significant police presence in the area.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, several eyewitnesses saw the suspect place flags on the floor of the consulate. They recounted that he said he wanted to avenge the death of his brother, according to the report.

Paris transport company RATP, formerly known as Twitter, announced on X that traffic had been suspended on two metro lines that transit through stops close to the consulate.

Also read: No plan for immediate retaliation against Israel, says senior Iranian official amid tensions

The Iranian embassy and consulate in Paris occupy the same building but feature distinct entrances on separate streets.

The occurrence unfolded amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, coinciding with reports of an apparent strike by Israel on central Iran overnight.

Despite these developments, there is no indication of any connection between the incident in Paris and the situation in the Middle East.

According to a report by French broadcaster BFM TV, referencing a source close to the investigation, the individual in question was scheduled to appear in court on Monday regarding a fire incident at the consulate in September 2023.

Previously, a lower court had issued an eight-month suspended sentence and imposed a restriction on him from entering the consulate's vicinity. However, he is currently appealing this verdict.

France escalated its national security alert to its highest level following an attack on a concert venue in Moscow on March 22, claimed by the Islamic State group.

Earlier today, Israel reportedly conducted a strike against Tehran on Friday morning in retaliation for last weekend's attack, escalating tensions in the region.

Explosions rocked the city of Isfahan, home to Iranian nuclear facilities, around 4:30 am local time, with US officials confirming Israel's involvement. Iranian media reported the downing of three drones but denied any missile strikes.

The Israeli strike was a retaliatory measure in response to an Iranian aerial attack, which included approximately 300 missiles and drones, occurring on Sunday morning. This Iranian action was itself retaliation for the bombing of an Iranian consular building in Damascus on April 1.

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