EU: Swedish official has been held in Iran for over 500 days

European Union's Foreign Minister Josep Borrell confirms Johan Floderus, a European diplomat, is being held in Teheran, says efforts are being made to push Iranian authorities to release the Swedish citizen

The European Union revealed Tuesday that a Swedish citizen, employed in its diplomatic service, has been detained in Iran for over 500 days.
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The detainee's identity, Johan Floderus, 33, has remained shrouded in secrecy by all parties involved –Iran, Sweden and the European Union – until now.
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יוהאן פלודרוס איש שירות החוץ של האיחוד האירופי שנעצר ב איראן באפריל 2022
יוהאן פלודרוס איש שירות החוץ של האיחוד האירופי שנעצר ב איראן באפריל 2022
Johan Floderus has been held in Iran for more than 500 days
The revelation was confirmed by the European Union's Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, despite Sweden's reluctance to officially disclose Floderus's identity. Sweden only acknowledged that they are working to release a "man in his 30s" detained in Iran. The Foreign Ministry in Stockholm emphasized that disclosing the detainee's name could hinder efforts to secure his release and make the case "more complex."
Borrell explicitly mentioned Floderus's name in a conversation with journalists during his visit to Spain. He confirmed that Floderus works in the European Union's diplomatic service. He accused Tehran of illegally detaining him and emphasized that the EU has been and will continue to work tirelessly to secure his release.
"I want to stress that, I personally, all my team at all levels, the European institutions in close coordination with the Swedish authorities, which have the first responsibility of consular protection, and with his family, have been pushing Iranian authorities to release him," Borell said.
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Josep Borrell has pushed Iranian authorities to release the Swedish diplomat
Josep Borrell has pushed Iranian authorities to release the Swedish diplomat
Josep Borrell has pushed Iranian authorities to release the Swedish diplomat
(Photo: EPA)
"Every time we had a diplomatic meeting, at all levels, we had put the issue on the table. Relentlessly, we have been working for the freedom of Mr. Floderus. And we will continue doing that in close contact with the family, respecting their will, and for sure with the Swedish government."
Floderus previously worked in several European Union institutions, according to the New York Times, and his image was even featured in a promotional campaign by the EU aimed at recruiting young Swedes. According to the report, he was part of the delegation from the EU's diplomatic service for Afghan affairs, which borders Iran. As part of his role, he made several official visits to the Islamic Republic, all of which concluded without any extraordinary incidents.
His arrest on April 17 2022 did not occur during such an official visit but rather during a vacation he took to Iran with some Swedish friends. Floderus, as reported, was apprehended right at the end of his vacation, at the airport. Since then, he has been held in Evin Prison, notorious for its harsh conditions, in Tehran, where numerous foreign prisoners or those with dual nationalities are detained.
Iran revealed that it had detained a Swedish citizen back in July of last year, three months after the incident, without disclosing his name. Even then, this move was seen as Tehran's attempt to exert pressure on Stockholm to release the former senior Iranian official, Hamid Nouri, from Swedish custody. Nouri, a former high-ranking member of Iran's judicial system, was arrested in Sweden in 2019 and was convicted there last year for his involvement in the execution of thousands of political dissidents in 1988, a case that involved charges of murder and violations of international law.
The verdict stirred a diplomatic crisis with Tehran, prompting Sweden to recall its ambassador from the Iranian capital. Just two weeks later, Iran issued an announcement accusing the Swedish citizen of espionage, escalating tensions even further.
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