Iran releases Swedish diplomat

Iran releases Swedish diplomat

JOHAN FLODERUS: Home in Sweden after two years in an Iran prison Photo credit: Human Rights Activists News Agency

Swedish diplomat and European Union official Johan Floderus was freed by Iran after spending two years in prison there.

Announcing his release on June 15 shortly before Floderus’s return later that day, prime minister Ulf Kristersson said the European diplomat and Iranian-Swedish Saeed Azizi had been exchanged for Hamid Noury.

Oman’s state-run news agency later revealed that the country’s Foreign ministry had mediated in the prisoner exchange deal.

Noury, an Iranian official arrested in 2019 during a tourist visit to Sweden, was serving a life sentence for war crimes arising from his involvement in Iran’s mass executions of 1988.

Conforming to Iran’s habitual strategy, Noury’s conviction in July 2022 almost certainly prompted the arrest in Teheran of the two Swedes as valuable collateral in negotiating Noury’s release.

Floderus, holidaying in Iran in April 2022, was arrested as he prepared to leave and taken to Evin prison.  He was charged with “extensive intelligence cooperation with the Zionist occupation regime” as well as “corruption on earth” which carries the death penalty.

Saeed Aziz’s case was less high-profile than the diplomat’s, but Human Rights Activists in Iran reported in February 2024 that after his arrest in November 2023, he had received a five-year prison term for “assembly and collusion against national security.”

Noury has now received a hero’s welcome and a red carpet at Teheran airport where his family awaited him.

“It was clear all along that this operation would require difficult decisions,” the Swedish prime minister told the national and international media on June 15.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at