EU High Representative Josep Borrell confirmed On Tuesday that the Swedish citizen detained in Iran for 500 days works for the European Union.
He assured that everything was being done to obtain his release, although his office kept Iran’s hostage-taking under wraps all along, while holding talks with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Sweden on Monday said a Swedish citizen in his 30s was arbitrarily detained in Iran last year and called for his immediate release.
The Swedish government didn’t identify the man, but Borrell named him as Johan Floderus, a Swede who is working for the European Union.
Citing anonymous sources, the New York Times said Floderus was arrested on a private trip to Iran for possible use by Tehran as a bargaining chip in efforts to seek concessions from the West.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, told the semi-official Fars news agency that he had no information on the case. However, Iran had announced in July 2022 that it had detained a Swedish citizen.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry said the man was detained in Iran in April last year but declined to give details.
Last month, the United States announced a “prisoner exchange” deal with Iran to free five US citizens. At the same time Washington allowed $9 billion of Iran’s frozen funds in South Korea and Iraq to be released.
The EU, Germany, France, The United Kingdom and the US have been trying to reach a deal with Iran to revive the JCPOA nuclear agreement abandoned by the Trump administration in 2018.
Reporting by AP