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Tehran Says Iranian-Swedish Djalali's Execution On Track, Not Related To Nouri Trial

Ahmadreza Djalali with his wife, Vida Mehrannia

Iran's judiciary says the death sentence of Swedish-Iranian national Ahmadreza Djalali will be carried out, as Tehran does not plan to seek a prisoner exchange for an Iranian being tried in Stockholm for his alleged role in the mass execution and torture of political prisoners at an Iranian prison in the 1980s.

Judiciary spokesman Zabihollah Khodaian on May 10 confirmed that Djalali, who was arrested during an academic visit in 2016 and accused of spying for Israel, will face his punishment that the case was not related in any way to that of Hamid Nouri, who is on trial in Sweden for war crimes.

The cases have strained relations between Sweden and Iran.

"Djalali has been sentenced to death on several charges and the verdict is final. The sentence will be carried out," Khodaian said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde has condemned the case and called for Djalali's release, while a Norway-based campaign group, Iran Human Rights, has accused Iranian officials of threatening to execute Djalali "in retaliation" for the war crimes trial of Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official, by a court in Sweden.

"These two issues are not related. Mr. Nouri is innocent and Mr. Djalali was arrested two years prior to Mr. Nouri's case. There is thus no possibility of an exchange of these two individuals," Khodaian added.

He did not give a date for the execution, but last week Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency reported that the Iranian-Swedish researcher will be executed by May 21.

Djalali, a medical doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, was arrested in Iran in 2016 during an academic visit. He was accused of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists.

Iran's Supreme Court in 2017 upheld the death sentence. Amnesty International in November 2021 urged Tehran to drop all charges against Djalali and release him.

Nouri, arrested in Sweden in 2019, faces a life sentence for his involvement in mass killings ordered by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1988.

Nouri is charged with international war crimes and human rights abuses in connection with the murders of more than 100 people at the Gohardasht prison in Karaj.

With reporting by Reuters, BBC, and AP