On Tuesday, the European Union’s top diplomat acknowledged that Johan Floderus, a Swedish diplomat working for the EU, had been imprisoned in Iran for more than 500 days.
Arriving in the Spanish city of Cadiz for a development summit, EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell told reporters that Brussels was pushing “relentlessly” for the 33-year-old’s release.
Sweden partially verified a New York Times article on the arrest on Monday, confirming that a Swedish man in his thirties had been detained in Iran since April 2022.
But Borrell went further, confirming the prisoner’s name and that he works for the EU diplomatic corps.
“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,” Borrell said.
“I want to stress that I personally, all my team at all levels – European institutions in close coordination 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.”
“Every time we had diplomatic meetings, at all levels, we have put the issue on the table. Relentlessly.”
“We have been working for the freedom of Mr Floderus and we will continue doing that in close contact with the family, respecting their will, and for sure with the Swedish government,” he said.
“This is very much in our agenda, in our heart and we will not stop until Floderus will be free.”