Sweden says one of its nationals detained by Iran amid strained ties

Swedish newspaper links arrest to upcoming trial in Stockholm of Iranian accused of genocide; Tehran also due to soon execute Swede accused of spying for Israel

Illustrative photo of a person in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a person in handcuffs. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

STOCKHOLM — Sweden said Friday that one of its citizens traveling as a tourist has been detained in Iran, in the latest incident to worsen relations between the two countries.

In a brief comment by email, the Foreign Ministry said that the man was in his 30s, and that the embassy in Tehran was “seeking information and is in contact with local authorities.”

Iranian authorities did not immediately acknowledge the arrest. Neither Iran’s judiciary nor its mission to the United Nations responded immediately to requests for comment.

Sweden’s Aftonbladet tabloid wrote late Thursday that the man was arrested as he was about to leave Iran, where he was traveling with other Swedes. No date was given.

The newspaper linked the arrest with the trial in Sweden of an Iranian accused of genocide. The verdict in that case is due on July 14.

Swedish prosecutors have sought life imprisonment for Hamid Nouri, who has been held in custody in Sweden since he was arrested in Stockholm in November 2019.

The Stockholm District Court said this week that Nouri will “remain in custody until the verdict is announced or otherwise is decided.”

Iran also is planning to execute an Iranian-Swedish researcher imprisoned since 2016, according to an Iranian media report. The report semi-official ISNA news agency quoted informed Iranian officials as saying that Iran will implement the death penalty against Ahmadreza Djalali — who was convicted of spying for Israel — by May 21 at the latest.

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