Pierre Siramy, a former assistant director of the DGSE, told French TV station LCI that Reiss, who returned to Paris Sunday after 10 months in the Islamic Republic, had “collected information on Iran for France”.
“She worked on behalf of France, collecting information that was of a political nature, and also on nuclear proliferation. She’s registered with the DGSE,” said Siramy who in March published a book, Twenty-five years in the Secret Service.
According to Siramy, Reiss took it upon herself to go to the French embassy upon her arrival in Iran, something that local authorities would have discovered while examining her internet correspondence before her arrest.
But he told RFI later that Reiss was not a spy but an "occasional contact".
Reiss, 24, a fluent Farsi speaker and Persian specialist, was arrested on 1 July at Tehran Airport, shortly before she was due to fly home from her study and teaching stint in the city of Isfahan.
She was accused of transmitting information on Iran’s post-election protests, thus compromising the country’s national security, and of participating in anti-government gatherings.
France denies that it cut a secret deal with Tehran for her release, and authorities have not yet reacted to reports of her affiliation with the DGSE.
Unnamed sources from with the agency, however, have rejected the allegations in the French press. They claim that Siramy could not be privy to such information, given that he had left the DGSE long before Reiss arrived in Iran.
The sources accuse Siramy of using the Reiss affair to promote his book.