Iran Prisoner Says Sweden Left Him Behind in Jail

A view of the entrance to Evin prison in Tehran, Iran (Reuters)
A view of the entrance to Evin prison in Tehran, Iran (Reuters)
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Iran Prisoner Says Sweden Left Him Behind in Jail

A view of the entrance to Evin prison in Tehran, Iran (Reuters)
A view of the entrance to Evin prison in Tehran, Iran (Reuters)

A Swedish-Iranian dual national has accused Sweden's prime minister of leaving him out of a prisoner swap in a call from the Iranian jail where he remains incarcerated, daily Expressen reported on Tuesday.

The two countries carried out a prisoner exchange on Saturday, with Sweden freeing a former Iranian official convicted for his role in a mass execution in the 1980s while Iran released two Swedes being held there.

Ahmadreza Djalali, an emergency medicine doctor, remains in Tehran's Evin prison after he was arrested in 2016 while on an academic visit to Iran.

Djalali was sentenced to death in 2022 on charges of spying for Israel, and Iran's judiciary in the same year ruled out a prisoner swap for him.

"You chose to leave me behind, with a high risk of being executed," Djalali said in a telephone conversation with his wife Vida Mehrannia, who recorded it and shared it with the newspaper. His comments were addressed to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, AFP reported.

"I am speaking to you from Evin prison. It's a terrible cave, where I've spent eight years and two months, almost 3,000 days of my life," Expressen quoted him as saying.

"I'm very happy that the other two were released. One Iranian-Swedish, the other Swedish. But it is clearly a case of discrimination," he added.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said on Saturday that Iran had refused to even consider Djalali a Swedish citizen after he received citizenship in the Nordic country, where he lived and worked prior to his arrest, while in Iranian prison.

Billstrom said in an emailed comment to Reuters on Tuesday that Sweden had not given up on Djalali and would continue efforts to have him freed.

"The government and the security services did everything possible to ensure that Djalali would come home together with Floderus and Azizi," Billstrom said, adding that he was due to have a previously scheduled meeting with Djalali's wife.

"As the prime minister has said, he has a great understanding of the despair Djalali and his family feel. They have our deepest sympathy ... For the sake of Djalali's own safety, we cannot say more than what we have already said."



Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
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Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo

Azerbaijan is proposing to sign a document with Armenia on the basic principles of a future peace treaty as an interim measure as they wrangle over a broader deal, a senior Azerbaijani official said on Sunday.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have repeatedly said they want to sign a peace treaty to end the conflict over the former breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, reported Reuters.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Saturday a text of a treaty was 80%-90% ready but repeated it was impossible to sign it before Armenia amended its constitution to remove an indirect reference to Karabakh independence, which Armenia has rejected.
Karabakh's ethnic Armenian inhabitants enjoyed de facto independence from Azerbaijan for more than three decades until September 2023, when a lightning Azerbaijani offensive retook the territory and prompted around 100,000 Armenians to flee.
Both countries have in recent months sought to make progress on the peace treaty, including the demarcation of borders, with Armenia agreeing to hand over to Azerbaijan four contested border villages.
A document on the basic principles could be considered as a temporary measure and form the basis of the bilateral ties and ensure neighborly relations between the two countries, Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to the president, told Reuters.
It can be signed until Azerbaijan holds COP29 climate summit in November, Hajiyev added.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in June that a peace treaty with Azerbaijan was close to completion but that his country would not accept its demands that it change its constitution.
After he made those comments, clashes broke out between police and demonstrators, the latest in a series of protests denouncing his policies, including the handing back of ruined villages to Azerbaijan, and demanding his resignation.
On July 5, Constitution Day in Armenia, Pashinyan said the country needed a new constitution "which the people will consider to be what they created, what they accepted, what is written in it is their idea of the state they created and the relations between people and citizens in that state".