Swedish EU employee Johan Floderus attends a court session in Tehran, Iran, January 28, 2024.

Swedish Diplomat Detained In Iran Faces 'Strict Punishment'

Monday, 01/29/2024

The fifth and concluding trial session of Johan Floderus, a 33-year-old Swedish citizen and diplomat of the European Union, was held in Tehran.

Floderus has been detained by the security forces of the Islamic Republic since April 2022 on what appears to be trumped up charges of espionage.

According to reports from Fars News Agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, the session took place on Sunday at the Tehran Revolutionary Court. The judge reiterated charges against Floderus, including "corruption on earth through actions against national security," "assembly and collusion with the intention of committing a crime against national security," and "intelligence cooperation" with Israel.

The judge based the accusations on reports from Iran's security apparatus, along with evidence such as Floderus’ presence in Iranian border cities and his travels to various countries, including Israel.

During the session, the prosecutor's representative urged for the strictest punishment for the Swedish citizen. Floderus and his legal team have been granted one week to present their final defense statement to the court.

Floderus, a graduate of Oxford University, previously served in the Afghanistan desk of the EU’s external services department. His detention is seen by observers as potentially linked to Tehran's efforts to exert pressure on the Swedish government. The pressure could be aimed at securing the release of Hamid Nouri, a former judicial official of the Islamic Republic, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for involvement in the massacre of political prisoners in the 1980s, in which up to 5,000 were executed.

The Stockholm Court of Appeals upheld Nouri's life sentence in December.

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