Iran and Sweden complete prisoner exchange in Oman-mediated deal

Iran and Sweden complete prisoner exchange in Oman-mediated deal

Jun 16, 2024

Tehran [Iran], June 16: Iran and Sweden have completed a prisoner swap, according to the government of Oman, which mediated the process.
Citizens from both countries were flown to Muscat on Saturday.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson confirmed that two Swedish citizens were on their way home.
According to information from Tehran, Hamid N., who had been sentenced to life in prison in Sweden for mass executions of political prisoners in Iran at the end of the 1980s, was released.
The Iranian, 63, was sentenced in Stockholm in July 2022.
There was no confirmation of this from Stockholm. Kristersson merely said that Iran had made the two Swedes "a pawn in a cynical negotiating game with the aim of releasing the Iranian citizen Hamid N." from Swedish custody.
EU employee Johan Floderus and Said Asisi, who had been sentenced to five years in prison in Iran, were released by Tehran, Kristersson said. At least one other Swedish citizen, the physician Ahmad Resa Jalali, is still in an Iranian prison.
EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell welcomed their release on X on Saturday.
"We rejoice at the news of the liberation of EU colleague & citizen Johan Floderus and his compatriot Saeed Azizi. We thank Swedish & Omani authorities," the EU's top diplomat said.
"Other EU citizens are still arbitrarily detained in Iran. We'll continue to work for their freedom together w/ EU MS involved," he added, referring to member states. Borrell the Swedish and Omani authorities.
Prisoner exchange promptly criticized Mariam Claren, daughter of the German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi, who was imprisoned in Iran's notorious Ewin prison, expressed her shock on the X platform.
"Let me be clear," she wrote, "I am happy for the freed hostages and their families. But what message did the EU sent to Tehran? More people will be taken hostage, hostages who were left behind might be executed. And most important: what a slap in the face of the families of Nouri's victims."
Oman has made a name for itself as the "Switzerland of the Middle East" and endeavours to support political conflicts in the region as a neutral player. The country has mediated between Iran and Saudi Arabia, for example, and in talks between the West and Iran over the latter's nuclear programme.
Relations between Sweden and Iran had recently cooled considerably due to the diplomatic cases. In May last year, Tehran executed a Swedish-Iranian dissident who had been accused of terrorist activities. Critics had repeatedly accused Iran of trying to free Hamid N. by imprisoning Swedish citizens.
Source: Qatar Tribune