Avoid Iran, Sweden warns, as two nationals now held

Sweden has urged all its citizens not to travel to Iran, where a second Swedish national was recently arrested, in addition to the detained diplomat Johan Floderus.

“In view of the security situation, the [Swedish] ministry for foreign affairs advises against all travel to Iran,” its press office told EUobserver on Tuesday (30 January).

“In late November 2023, a man in his sixties with Swedish and Iranian citizenship was detained for no apparent reason,” it confirmed.

It declined to name him for security reasons, but said the ministry was “in contact with his relatives”.

The detention of the unnamed man comes on top of Iran’s trial of Swedish diplomat and EU foreign service employee, Floderus, who faces the death penalty over allegedly spying for Israel.

It also comes as Iran tries to pressure Sweden to free an Iranian prison chief, Hamid Noury, who has received a life sentence in a Swedish jail for human-rights abuses.

“There are no grounds whatsoever to detain Johan Floderus, let alone put him on trial. Sweden and the EU have both made this abundantly clear to representatives of Iran,” the Swedish foreign ministry said.

“Sweden’s chargé d’affaires [in Tehran] was in attendance when the trial against Johan Floderus resumed on Sunday in Iran,” it said.

“The [Swedish] embassy [in Iran] remains in close contact with Johan Floderus’ lawyer and is also monitoring the case very closely … our efforts continue unabated and we will not give up on them until Johan Floderus has been released and returned home,” it added.

The EU foreign service said on Monday it was also pushing Tehran to free its employee.

The 33-year-old was working in the foreign service’s Afghanistan branch when Iran held him at Tehran airport as he was leaving the country after a holiday in spring of 2022.

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