Johan Floderus is reportedly being held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison

Johan Floderus: EU confirms official from Sweden detained in Iran

By David Gritten / BBC News

The European Union has confirmed that a Swedish man working for the bloc’s diplomatic service has been detained in Iran for more than 500 days.

Johan Floderus, a 33-year-old official based in Brussels, was arrested in Tehran in April 2022 while on holiday.

Iran announced three months later that it had arrested a Swedish national on espionage charges but did not name him.

Mr Floderus’s identity was also kept secret by Sweden’s government and the EU as they tried to secure his release.

But on Monday the it was revealed in a report by the New York Times.

The Swedish foreign ministry subsequently confirmed that a Swedish citizen in his 30s had been “arbitrarily deprived of his freedom” and urged Iranian authorities to release him. But it said it could not go into any more detail because doing so “would complicate the handling of the case”.

As he arrived at a meeting in the Spanish city of Cadiz on Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that Mr Floderus was indeed the Swedish national detained by Iran and that he worked for the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“I want to say something about, if you allow me, a specific case, the case of Mr Floderus. He’s a Swedish citizen who worked for the European Union and has been detained illegally in Iran for the last 500 days,” he said.

“I want to stress that I personally, all my team, at all levels, European institutions in close co-ordination with the Swedish authorities – which have the first responsibility of consular protection – and with his family, have been pushing the Iranian authorities to release him.”

He added: “Every time we had diplomatic meetings, at all levels, we have put the issue on the table. Relentlessly.”

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