France's President Jacques Chirac presented Iranian Shirin Ebadi, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, with the Legion of Honor award on Monday.
"France would like to pay tribute to your work, which you devote entirely to the defense of law, justice, dignity and liberty," Chirac told Ebadi, a lawyer, former judge and human rights activist.
"Through your courage and your pride, you defend a specifically Iranian vision that affirms the compatibility between Islamic values and those of democracy and human rights," he said. France "salutes your fight."
Ebadi was among the first women judges in Iran, before being deposed of her job after the Islamic revolution. She was reborn as a human rights activist, published a host of books and founded three nonprofit organizations. In 2003, she became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.