Hanging
Jalali is a Swedish-Iranian physician who specialises in disaster relief and has taught at European universities. Rights groups have condemned his detention, saying it follows a pattern of Iran detaining dual nationals and expatriates indefinitely without due process. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Stockholm: Iran is planning to execute an Iranian-Swedish researcher imprisoned since 2016, local media reported, as major court cases further strain tense relations between the two countries.

The Wednesday report by the semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted informed Iranian officials as saying that Iran will implement the death penalty against Ahmad Reza Jalali by May 21 at the latest.

Jalali is a Swedish-Iranian physician who specialises in disaster relief and has taught at European universities. Rights groups have condemned his detention, saying it follows a pattern of Iran detaining dual nationals and expatriates indefinitely without due process.

He was sentenced to death on widely condemned espionage charges in 2017, as Iranian state TV aired what appeared to be a forced confession with Jalali saying he relayed information to foreign intelligence services about Iranian nuclear scientists.

The announcement of his imminent execution came after Iran summoned its Swedish envoy over a landmark trial in Sweden of an Iranian national charged with grave war crimes committed during the final phase of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

Swedish prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment for Hamid Nouri, who has been held in custody in Sweden since his arrest in Stockholm in November 2019. The Stockholm District Court on Wednesday said that a verdict was expected July 14 and that Nouri will “remain in custody until the verdict is announced or otherwise is decided.”

Maja Aberg of Amnesty International Sweden said Iran’s announcement of Jalali’s execution date just after Swedish prosecutors moved on Nouri’s case was not a coincidence.

“It indicates that (Iran) sees him as a kind of piece in the jigsaw puzzle, which is very worrying,” she told Sweden’s TT news agency.