Iran confirmed on Tuesday the arrest of a Swedish diplomat for the European Union (EU), saying he had "committed crimes" during his stay in the country, according to a spokesperson for the justice cited by the Mizan Online agency. “This Swedish citizen committed crimes on the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said spokesperson Massoud Satayshi, noting “preliminary investigations” on the basis of which “he was sent to prison.”
“The investigation has been finalized and, in the coming days, his case will be transmitted to the competent court” so that “the prosecutor’s office” can make “a decision,” he added, responding to the question of a journalist during a press conference in Tehran. This is the first Iranian reaction to the announcement made in early September by Sweden and the European Union of the arrest of Johan Floderus, aged 33, on April 17, 2022 at Tehran airport, as l 'revealed the New York Times.
Sweden has called on Iran to release its “arbitrarily” detained national, while his family has launched a social media campaign for his release. The Iranian spokesperson did not specify what “crimes” the young man allegedly committed during his tourist stay in Iran. Johan Floderus, who has been working in Brussels for the EU Delegation to Afghanistan since September 2021, is detained in Evin Prison in Tehran.
In July 2022, Iran announced the arrest of a Swede for espionage, against a backdrop of tense relations between Tehran and Stockholm following the trial in Sweden of an Iranian, sentenced to life in prison for his role in executions of mass of thousands of opponents by the Iranian regime in 1988. Several Western states denounce what they call "hostage diplomacy" on the part of Iran, which consists of arresting Western nationals in order to obtain concessions such as the release of its own nationals.