Iran’s judiciary said on Tuesday it will execute the death sentence of an Iranian-Swedish scientist accused of spying for Israel and assisting it in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist.
Scientist Ahmadreza Djalali has denied all charges against him, announcing plans to execute him coincidentally with the conclusion of a landmark court case in Sweden, the first outside Iran The place, a former iranian official On trial for crimes against humanity.
Swedish prosecutors have asked for a life sentence for Hamid Nouri, an officer arrested on a trip to Sweden in 2019 for his role in the mass execution of 5,000 dissidents in the 1980s. He denies the allegations. Judgment is expected in July, according to the Swedish judiciary.
In a separate case, the Belgian judiciary announced on Tuesday that it would uphold previous sentences against three Iranians, one of whom was a senior diplomat, on charges of planning a terrorist attack against an Iranian opposition group in Paris.
Human rights groups have condemned the Islamic Republic of Iran’s so-called model of hostage diplomacy, in which dual nationals or foreign citizens are detained on trumped-up espionage charges and then used politically to release frozen funds or in exchange for jailed Iranian citizens in other countries.
“The announcement of the Iranian judiciary’s intent to execute Jalali makes it clear that he is a hostage and that his life is being used to influence judicial decisions in Sweden,” said Hadi Ghaemi, director of the Iranian Center for Human Rights, a New York-based spokesman. City’s independent advocacy group.
Iranian judiciary spokesman Zabihollah Khodaian denied that Mr Djalali and Mr Nouri’s cases were linked or that Iran was seeking an exchange, according to Iranian media reports.
“There is no discussion about the exchange, and the judiciary will act according to the judgment issued,” Mr. Kodaan told Iranian news agency ISNA.
Mr Djalali, 50, a doctor and lecturer at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, moved to Sweden in 2009 to pursue a doctorate, according to his family. He was arrested in 2016 when he was invited by a university to attend an academic seminar in Iran.
Last week, Iranian news media, citing anonymous sources, said Mr Jalali would be executed at the end of May.
His wife, Vida Mehrannia, said in a telephone interview from Sweden on Tuesday that the ordeal had left the family torn apart. She said she wakes up every day afraid that Iran will execute her husband and that she will tell their 19-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. She said they had not spoken to Mr Djalali since news of his imminent execution broke.
Ms Mehrannia said her husband had never been to Israel and had no contact with the government of a country that Iran considers hostile.
“I never thought they would use us as pawns in their political game,” Ms Melania wept throughout the interview. “I feel devastated. Sweden keeps telling me it will resolve this diplomatically, but nothing has happened yet.”
The cases in Sweden and Iran have created tensions between the two countries. If Iran executes a Swedish citizen, it would heighten tensions with Europe at a time when Iran is still negotiating a nuclear deal with the West.
A 30-year-old Swedish tourist was arrested in Iran as he left the country with a group of other tourists, Sweden’s foreign ministry said on Friday. In late April, Sweden warned its citizens not to travel to Iran.
The two foreign ministers spoke by phone last Wednesday, according to Iran’s foreign ministry. The outcome of that conversation and the prospect of a diplomatic breakthrough are unclear.
On May 4, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Lind tweeted: “Today’s media reports are extremely worrying that Iran may execute the death penalty against Swedish citizen Ahmadreza Djalali.” Mr Larry’s death sentence and demanded that Iran release him.
Ms Linde did not appear to have commented publicly on Tuesday’s official statement from Iran’s judiciary.