Iran arrests Swede for espionage over past travel to Israel


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A view of Tehran, the Iranian capital, on May 17, 2022.
AFPA view of Tehran, the Iranian capital, on May 17, 2022.

Iran accuses Sweden of supporting 'proxies for Israel'

Iran said on Saturday it arrested a Swedish national on allegations of espionage, linking the arrest to the man's previous travel to Israel. 

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Iran's intelligence ministry said it "identified and arrested a national of the Kingdom of Sweden suspected of espionage," providing no details on the suspect's identity nor the date of their detention.

"In all the previous trips, the suspect... communicated with a number of European and non-European suspects who were under surveillance in Iran," the Iranian statement read.

It further added that "the suspect in question re-entered the country a few months ago after the arrest of another European spy" to collect information, adding the suspect had been taken into custody while leaving Iran.

The intelligence ministry said the suspect had visited Israel, the Islamic republic's arch-enemy, before going to Iran.

The statement also alleged that Sweden was "supporting several proxy spies" for Israel, including Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian academic who was sentenced to death in absentia in the Islamic republic.

Djalali's sentence was issued in 2017 after he was convicted of passing information about two Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel's Mossad spy agency that led to their assassinations.

This is the second Swedish citizen Iran arrested in recent months. In May, Sweden confirmed that Iran arrested a Swedish citizen at a tense time for ties between Stockholm and Tehran.

Additionally, earlier this year a Swedish court sentenced a former Iranian prison official to life for war crimes during mass executions in the Islamic republic in 1988, sparking off fury in Tehran.

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