Iranian authorities say efforts are underway to release Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian jailor who is serving a life sentence in Sweden.
Nouri, 61, was given a life sentence last July for his leading role in the massacre of large numbers of jailed opposition members at Gohardasht Prison in July and August 1988.
Askar Jalalian, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice, called prospects of his release "good news”.
The development comes after Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, convicted of terrorism, was freed on Friday in exchange for a Belgian aid worker, causing global outrage.
Assadi, a former attaché at the Iranian embassy in Austria, was convicted of plotting to bomb a gathering of the exiled opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) near Paris on June 30, 2018.
Belgian Olivier Vandecasteele, who was detained in 2022 and sentenced to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes for alleged “spying and cooperation with the United States, money laundering and smuggling $500,000 out of Iran,” was also released as part of a deal mediated by Oman.
Critics of the deal warned that such a treaty would effectively establish Belgium as a “sanctuary country” for terrorist operations, and a haven for Iranian intelligence services to maintain a European command center, setting a dangerous precedent for the future.
Iran has become notorious for its ‘diplomatic hostage taking’ and the latest developments are causing alarm among rights groups and international diplomatic circles that the tactic is succeeding.