A Swedish-Iranian Man In His 60S Arrested Last Year In Iran, Sweden Says

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Iran last year arbitrarily detained a Swedish citizen in his 60s, authorities in Stockholm said Thursday, calling for the man's immediate release.

The government did not identify the man, but said he holds both Swedish and Iranian citizenship and was detained at the end of November “without a clear reason.”

The Foreign Ministry in Stockholm on Wednesday summoned Iran’s chargé d’affaires and demanded the release of all Swedish citizens “who are arbitrarily detained in Iran.”

At the same time, Sweden also issued a protest against Iran’s attack on the city of Irbil, in Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, late on Monday. Tehran said it targeted what the Iranians described as Israeli “spy headquarters” near the U.S. Consulate in Irbil. Four civilians were killed and six injured in the attack, according to local Kurdish authorities.

Among other Swedes held in Iran are Johan Floderus, who had been working for the European Union’s diplomatic corps, and Ahmadreza Djalali, both suspected of spying. Floderus was arrested in 2022 while on a private trip to Iran, reportedly for possible use by Tehran as a bargaining chip in efforts to seek concessions from the West.

The Iranians have said Floderus, who has had held several positions in the EU, had been in touch with several European and non-European suspects in Iran, and had visited Israel, Iran’s foe, before visiting Iran.

Relations between Stockholm and Tehran have been tense in recent years.

Iran recalled its ambassador from Sweden after a Swedish court in 2022 convicted Iranian citizen Hamid Noury of war crimes and murder during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and sentenced him to life in prison.

The Stockholm District Court said that Noury took part in severe atrocities in July-August 1988 while working as an assistant to the deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison outside the Iranian city of Karaj. Noury, who was arrested in November 2019 when he arrived in Stockholm on a tourist trip, has appealed the ruling.