Iran accuses jailed Swedish EU diplomat of conspiring with Israel

Iranian authorities have accused a Swedish EU diplomat, held in a Tehran prison for more than 600 days, of conspiring with Iran’s arch-enemy Israel to harm the Islamic Republic, the judiciary said Sunday.

“Johan Floderus is accused of extensive measures against the security of the country, extensive intelligence cooperation with the Zionist regime and corruption on earth,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said.

Corruption on earth is one of Iran’s most serious offences which carries a maximum penalty of death.

“The defendant has been active against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of gathering information for the benefit of the Zionist regime in the form of subversive projects,” Mizan quoted the prosecution as saying.

Earlier Sunday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for the immediate release of the Swedish diplomat, arguing “there are absolutely no grounds for keeping Johan Floderus in detention.”

Floderus, 33, works for the European Union diplomatic service. He was arrested on April 17, 2022, at Tehran airport as he was returning from a trip abroad, and is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said on Saturday the trial had begun in Iran.

“There is no basis whatsoever for keeping Johan Floderus in detention, let alone bringing him to trial,” Billstrom said.

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