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IRAN

Iran to execute Swedish-Iranian academic in May: report

A Swedish-Iranian academic convicted of spying for Israel is set to be executed in Iran later this month, a news agency in the country reported on Wednesday.

Iran to execute Swedish-Iranian academic in May: report
A 2017 demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in Stockholm calling on Iran to free Djalali. Photo: Hossein Salmanzadeh/TT

Ahmadreza Djalali, formerly based in Stockholm where he worked at the Karolinska Institute, was arrested during a visit to Iran in April 2016.

He was sentenced to death in 2017 after being found guilty of passing information about two Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel’s Mossad spy agency that led to their assassinations.

Citing informed sources, ISNA news agency said on Wednesday that his death sentence would be carried out by May 21.

Djalali was granted Swedish citizenship while in detention in February 2018, a few months after Iran’s supreme court confirmed the death sentence.

United Nations rights experts said in March 2021 that he was in critical condition after months of solitary confinement and called for his release.

Wednesday’s report comes on the last day of the trial in Stockholm of Hamid Noury, a former Iranian prison official.

Noury, 61, stands accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes for alleged involvement in the executions of a large number of inmates in the 1980s.

The prosecution said the prisoners were members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, an exiled opposition organisation that Tehran considers a “terrorist group”, as well as other outlawed groups.

Lawyers for Noury, who was arrested at Stockholm airport in November 2019, have denied he was present for the alleged killings.

Iran said on Monday that it had summoned Sweden’s ambassador after prosecutors in the Nordic country sought a life sentence for Noury.

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SWEDEN AND IRAN

Iran says Swede arrested for alleged espionage

Iran said on Saturday it had arrested a Swedish national on allegations of espionage, without providing details on the suspect's identity nor the date of their detention.

Iran says Swede arrested for alleged espionage

The announcement comes amid diplomatic tensions between Tehran and Stockholm, after a Swedish court sentenced a former Iranian prison official to life for war crimes during mass executions in the Islamic republic in 1988.

Iran’s intelligence ministry said it had “identified and arrested a national of the Kingdom of Sweden suspected of espionage”.

In early May, the Swedish foreign ministry said a Swede in his thirties had been arrested in Iran.

It was not immediately clear if the announcement on Saturday refers to that man or another Swede.

“In all the previous trips, the suspect… communicated with a number of European and non-European suspects who were under surveillance in Iran,” the statement read.

“The suspect in question re-entered the country a few months ago after the arrest of another European spy” to collect information, it alleged, adding the suspect had been taken into custody while leaving Iran.

The intelligence ministry said the suspect had visited Israel, the Islamic republic’s arch-enemy, before going to Iran.

It also alleged Sweden had “supported several proxy spies” for Israel, including Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian academic who has been sentenced to death in the Islamic republic.

Djalali’s sentence was issued in 2017 after he was convicted of passing information about two Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel’s Mossad spy agency that led to their assassinations.

He was granted Swedish citizenship the following year.

His case was followed by the trial in Stockholm of Hamid Noury, a former official in Iran’s judiciary accused of war crimes over the killing of prisoners in Iran during the 1980s.

Noury received a life sentence from a Swedish court on July 14th. Iran dismissed the verdict as “political” and has called for his release.

Relations between to the two countries have been strained over the case, with Tehran recalling its ambassador to Sweden for consultations a week later.

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