Iran and Sweden trade prisoners in Oman-mediated swap | EUROtoday

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Iran and Sweden introduced on Saturday a prisoner trade that noticed a former Iranian official jailed in Sweden freed as Stockholm stated Tehran had launched a European Union diplomat and a second Swede.

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“Hamid Noury, who has been in illegal detention in Sweden since 2019, is free and will return to the country in a few hours,” Kazem Gharibabadi, head of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, stated in a submit on social media platform X.

Shortly afterwards, Sweden’s prime minister stated Johan Floderus, an EU diplomat, and one other Swedish nationwide who have been held in Iran had been launched and have been on a flight house.

Floderus, 33, had been held in Iran since April 2022 accused of espionage. He risked being sentenced to loss of life.

The different Swede, Saeed Azizi, had been arrested in November 2023.

They have been on their means house “and will finally be reunited with their relatives”, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson stated.

Gharibabadi stated the discharge of Noury was due to efforts led by late Iranian overseas minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who died in a helicopter crash alongside president Ebrahim Raisi in May.

The official Oman News Agency (ONA) later stated Tehran and Stockholm had agreed, following mediation by Oman, to the “mutual release” of nationals detained in each international locations.

“Those released were transferred from Tehran and Stockholm to Muscat today, 15 June 2024, for their repatriation,” ONA stated.

Strained relations

Noury’s son, Majid, hailed in a submit on X Iranian officers’ “powerful and zealous” efforts which secured his father’s launch “after 1,680 days of captivity.”

He added that he’ll greet Noury at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport in a while Saturday.

Noury, 63, is a former Iranian jail official who was arrested at Stockholm airport in November 2019 and later sentenced to life in jail after Iranian dissidents in Sweden filed police complaints in opposition to him over killings in 1988.

His case pertains to the killing of at the very least 5,000 prisoners throughout Iran to avenge assaults carried out by the insurgent People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) on the finish of the Iran-Iraq battle of 1980-88.

A Swedish court docket had discovered Noury responsible of “grave breaches of international humanitarian law and murder” however he had argued he was on depart throughout the interval in query.

Iran condemned the sentence however Sweden insisted the trial was held underneath its precept of common jurisdiction, which permits it to strive a case no matter the place the alleged offence occurred.

Kristersson stated Iran had made Floderus and Azizi “pawns in a cynical negotiation game, with the aim of getting Iranian citizen Hamid Noury released from prison in Sweden”.

He added that, as prime minister, he had “a special responsibility for the safety of Swedish citizens. The government has therefore worked intensively on the issue, together with the Swedish security service, which has negotiated with Iran.”

Kristersson added: “It has been clear all along that the operation would require some difficult decisions. Now we have made those decisions.”

Uncertainty in Iran: What next after president's death in helicopter crash?

Uncertainty in Iran: What subsequent after president’s loss of life in helicopter crash? © France24

Other Swedish residents are held in Iran together with twin nationwide Ahmad Reza Jalali, who’s already on loss of life row after he was detained in 2016 and sentenced to loss of life on espionage costs.

The Islamic republic doesn’t recognise twin nationality.

Several different Europeans together with from France, Britain, Germany and Austria are nonetheless held in Iran.

On Thursday, French citizen Louis Arnaud, 36, returned to Paris after spending greater than 20 months incarcerated in Iran on nationwide safety costs.

Activists and a few Western governments accuse Iran of exercising a method of taking overseas nationals as hostages to pressure concessions from the West.

Last 12 months, Oman helped mediate a swap deal between Iran and the United States, in addition to facilitating the discharge of six European detainees in Iran.