Iran Arrests Swedish Citizen On Espionage Charges
July 30, 2022
A Swedish citizen has been arrested in Iran on espionage charges, Iranian state media reported on July 30, without providing details on the suspect's identity or the date of their detention.
The announcement comes amid diplomatic tensions between Tehran and Stockholm after a Swedish court sentenced a former Iranian official to life in prison for the mass execution and torture of political prisoners in Iran in the 1980s.
Sweden's Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the case.
"This is a known and ongoing case which the Foreign Ministry has been working on for a while," a spokeswoman said in an emailed comment, quoted by Reuters.
The spokeswoman said that the case is that of a Swedish man whom the Foreign Ministry had said in May had been detained in Iran. Tehran did not report that arrest at that time.
Iran's Intelligence Ministry said in a statement that "the suspect had been under surveillance...during several previous trips to Iran because of [their] suspicious behavior and contacts."
It said the suspect had visited Iranian "cities that were entirely outside of tourist destinations." The suspect had allegedly visited Israel - the Islamic Republic's arch-enemy - before going to Iran.
The ministry said the suspect has been taken into custody while leaving Iran.
Iran has arrested dozens of foreigners and dual nationals in recent years, often on widely criticized espionage and security-related charges.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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