The now 33-year-old Swedish diplomat Johan Floderus has been illegally held by Iran for more than 500 days. The case – already known within Sweden for some time – got world media attention on 5 September, when the New York Times published the name of the diplomat. It was something the Swedish government had so far managed to keep as quiet as possible, to help the negotiations some sources say.

Floderus was working for the EU foreign aid programme. He was arrested on the airport of Teheran, when he was returning from a holiday with friends in Iran.

Swedish national broadcasting company SVT reports that the Iranian Foreign Minister has requested Stockholm that Floderus will be exchanged with Hamid Noury. This Iranian national was sentenced by a Swedish judge last year, for murder and crimes against humanity committed in the 1980s in Iran.

Diplomatic experts say that it is very unlikely that Sweden will meet Iran’s demand, as Noury is not a suspect, but a convict. The media attention has stirred up voices in Sweden saying the government in EU context should change it stand towards Iran. | © 2023 Marcel Burger, Image screendump of the EU diplomatic page featuring Johan Floderus