Iran rejects Swedish 'interference' in execution of accused spy

Iran says Sweden's call to stop execution of academic accused of spying is "unacceptable".

Elad Benari ,

Iran
Iran
iStock

Iran has warned against "all interference" by Sweden after the country called on Tehran not to execute Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali, who was handed a death penalty for spying.

"The judicial power of the Islamic republic is independent -- all interference in the issuance or carrying out of judicial decisions is rejected as unacceptable," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement quoted by AFP.

The statement came after Sweden's Foreign Minister Anne Linde on Tuesday said she had been in contact with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the wake of reports that Tehran was preparing to carry out the execution of Djalali.

"Sweden denounces the death penalty and is working to not have the sentence against Djalali carried out," Linde wrote.

Khatibzadeh said that the information being used by the Swedish authorities to inform their position on Djalali's circumstances "was incomplete and false".

Djalali, a doctor and lecturer at the Stockholm-based Karolinska Institute, was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and later convicted of espionage and sentenced to death. He denied the charges.

In 2017, Iranian state television aired what it described as the confessions of Djalali, saying he had provided information to Israel to help it eliminate several senior nuclear scientists.

Iran claims Djalali is linked to the elimination of four Iranian scientists between 2010 and 2012 that Tehran said was an Israeli attempt to sabotage its nuclear energy program.

Djalali has claimed he is being punished for refusing to spy for Iran while working in Europe.



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