The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell revealed on Tuesday the identity of a Swede detained in Iran for more than 500 days. It is a European diplomat named Johan Floderus but the Swedish political authorities refuse to comment.
Josep Borrell raised the case of this Swedish national during an informal meeting of European Union development ministers in Cadiz in southern Spain. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy assured the press, before the start of this meeting, that he himself and his services were “working tirelessly” to obtain the release of the diplomat held prisoner in Iran since April 17, 2022.
A leak to the New York Times
Sweden asked Iran on Monday to release one of its nationals detained “arbitrarily”, without confirming his identity. “This Swedish national is arbitrarily deprived of his liberty and must therefore be released immediately. This has been requested from the Iranian authorities,” the Swedish Foreign Ministry said in an email to AFP on Monday.
The American daily The New York Times stated the same day that it was Johan Floderus, a 33-year-old Swede working for the EU diplomatic service. He was arrested when taking his return flight to Tehran on April 17, 2022, after a tourist stay. Neither the Swedish authorities nor the European Union have until now wanted to confirm his identity.
Iran announced in July 2022 the arrest of a Swede for espionage, against a backdrop of tense relations between Tehran and Stockholm. “We are aware of and are following very closely the case of a Swede detained in Iran,” a spokesperson for the European Commission said on Monday.
This article is originally published on rtbf.be