Last Oriflame Staffer Released From Iran Jail

Swedish cosmetics firm Oriflame said Wednesday the last of its employees held in an Iranian had been released.

“I can confirm to you that the last person was released in December,” Oriflame’s director of investor relations Patrik Linzenbold told AFP.

Five Oriflame employees, including one Swedish-Iranian, were arrested when authorities raided the direct-sale cosmetic company’s Tehran office on August 22nd.

Authorities shut Oriflame’s office amid allegations that it was running a pyramid scheme and was possibly backed by a spy agency.

The same week, Iran’s intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi accused the firm of trying to harm Iran’s security.

Oriflame denied the allegations and said it had not received an explanation as to why its office had been shut down.

The Swedish foreign ministry said in November the Swedish-Iranian employee — who had been charged with establishing a pyramid scheme and deriving illegal earnings — had been released and left Iran.

The company said at the time that brought to four out of five the number of its staffers who had been freed.

Swedish business daily Dagens Industri (DI) reported on Wednesday that it was now clear Oriflame, which entered the Iranian market in 2006 but had been considering leaving the country, would shut down its activities in Iran.

“The conditions for us to continue our activities there don’t exist,” DI quoted Linzenbold as saying.

When asked by AFP, Linzenbold refused to comment on Oriflame’s future in Iran.

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