“Oman Mediates Sweden-Iran Prisoner Exchange: Former Iranian Official Freed, Two Swedes Return Home”

Date:

STOCKHOLM – Sweden and Iran conducted a prisoner exchange on Saturday facilitated by Oman, resulting in the release of a former Iranian official convicted for his involvement in a mass execution during the 1980s, while Iran freed two Swedish citizens held in its custody.

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The Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed that the exchange, brokered by Oman, involved the transfer of individuals from Tehran to Stockholm and vice versa.

Former Iranian judicial official Hamid Noury, convicted in Sweden for war crimes related to the mass execution of political prisoners at Gohardasht prison in Iran in 1988, was released by Sweden. Upon his arrival in Tehran, Noury was welcomed by his family on a red carpet, as reported by Iran’s official IRNA news agency.

Simultaneously, Swedish nationals Johan Floderus, a European Union employee arrested in Iran in 2022 on charges including spying for Israel, and Saeed Azizi, a dual Swedish-Iranian citizen detained in November 2023 under disputed circumstances, were released and safely returned to Sweden late on Saturday.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson addressed the press, acknowledging the difficult negotiations involved in securing their release: “Iran used them both as pawns in a cynical negotiation game aimed at securing the release of Hamid Noury, convicted of serious crimes committed in Iran in the 1980s.”

Hamid Noury, 63, who had been serving a life sentence in Sweden since his arrest at Stockholm airport in 2019, maintained his innocence throughout the legal proceedings, describing his case as complex and sensitive. Upon arrival in Iran, he expressed gratitude for his release, saying, “They said even God cannot free Hamid Noury, but He did.”

The prisoner exchange has sparked mixed reactions. The National Council of Resistance of Iran criticized Sweden, suggesting the exchange could embolden Tehran’s hostage-taking tactics. Meanwhile, lawyer Kenneth Lewis, representing plaintiffs in Noury’s case, condemned his release as disproportionate and a blow to judicial integrity.

Despite the successful release of Floderus and Azizi, concerns remain for Ahmadreza Djalali, another Swedish-Iranian dual national imprisoned in Iran since 2016. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom reaffirmed ongoing efforts to secure Djalali’s freedom, emphasizing Sweden’s commitment to bringing all its citizens home safely.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen commended Sweden for securing the release of its citizens from what she described as unjustified detention in Iran, while expressing solidarity with Djalali and his family in their continued ordeal.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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