Iran Detains Swedish Tourist in Suspected Retaliation
Iran has detained a Swedish tourist. Aftonbladet reported that a Swedish man in his 30s has been detained in Iran. According to the Swedish newspaper, he was arrested last week when he was about to leave the country after a couple of days of holiday.
The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that a man in his 30s is in custody but does not want to give any further information.
“The embassy in Tehran is seeking information on the case and is in contact with local authorities,” the press service wrote in an email to Aftonbladet.
The news came a few days after the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported that Swedish-Iranian national Ahmad Reza Jalali is scheduled for execution on or before May 21.
Ahmad Reza Jalali, a university professor, was arrested in 2016 while on an academic visit to Iran. Six years later, his death sentence is set to be carried out in the same month in which he initially arrived in the country.
Iranian authorities have accused Jalali of collaborating with hostile foreign governments and espionage for Israel and sentenced him to death in October 2017.
The report announcing the execution date for this Sweden-Iranian national coincides with the final day of the trial of Iranian official Hamid Noury in Stockholm, which took place on Wednesday, May 4.
The Swedish prosecutors have requested the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for Noury, who is charged with international war crimes and human rights abuses relating to the murders of more than 100 people.
Hamid Noury, a 60-year-old former Iranian Judiciary official, was temporarily arrested at Stockholm International Airport in November 2019 and has remained in jail for the last two years.
The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised against non-essential travel to Iran for fear that the Iranian government may arrest Swedish citizens for use as political bargaining chips in response to the Noury trial. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swedish Ambassador to Iran to protest the continued imprisonment of Noury.
On May 4, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told her Swedish counterpart in a phone call that “Hamid Nouri’s trial is illegal”. Later, Ann Linde tweeted that the possibility of Ahmad Reza Jalali’s execution is “extremely worrying”.