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Iran to Execute Swedish-Iranian National on Espionage Charges

A Swedish-Iranian man who was convicted on spying charges would be executed by May 21, Iran’s ISNA news agency said on Wednesday citing unnamed officials.

Ahmad Reza Jalali, a doctor, lecturer and researcher, who specialises in disaster relief and has taught at European universities, was arrested in Iran in April 2016 for allegedly “spying on behalf of Israel and having a role in the killing of Iranian nuclear physicists”, ISNA said citing sources. Iran claimed that Djalali passed on classified information to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency to help its agents assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists. Djalali’s lawyer said his client’s confession had been obtained under torture.

He was subsequently sentenced to death, which was upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court in 2017.

The announcement of his execution came shortly before the trial ended for Hamid Noury, a former Iranian prosecution official arrested by Swedish authorities in 2019.

Noury is being tried for life imprisonment for committing grave war crimes during the final phase of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The Stockholm District Court on Wednesday said that a verdict was expected on July 14 and that Nouri will “remain in custody until the verdict is announced or otherwise is decided”, reports Reuters.

Under Swedish law, courts can try Swedish citizens and other nationals for crimes against international law committed abroad.

On Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the Swedish envoy to protest “the baseless and fabricated accusations that the Swedish prosecutor made against Iran during Noury’s court case”, Iranian media reported earlier.

Meanwhile, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde expressed worry over reports that Iran may carry out the death penalty. In a Twitter post, she condemned “the death penalty and demand the release of Djalali.” “We have said this several times to representatives of Iran,” she wrote, adding Sweden was in contact with Tehran.

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