Swedish diplomat detained in Iran for over 500 days, EU reveals

This was until now information kept secret. Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy, revealed on Tuesday the identity of a Swede detained in Iran for more than 500 days: a European diplomat named Johan Floderus. Sweden refuses for its part to confirm it.

Josep Borrell raised the case of this Swedish national during an informal meeting of European Union Development Ministers in Cadiz in southern Spain. The head of European diplomacy ured the press, before the start of this meeting, that he and his services were “working tirelessly” to obtain the release of this diplomat, held prisoner in Iran since April 17, 2022.

Sweden had 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 Monday to AFP.

Tight relationships

The American Daily The New York Times said the same day that it was Johan Floderus, a 33-year-old Swede working for the EU’s diplomatic service. He had been arrested when taking his return flight to Tehran on April 17, 2022 after a tourist stay.

Neither the Swedish authorities nor the European Union had so far wanted to confirm his identity. Iran announced in July 2022 the arrest of a Swede for espionage, against a backdrop of strained 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 simply said on Monday.

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