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Sweden admits ‘mixed feelings’ over releasing Iranian war criminal

 Sweden admits ‘mixed feelings’ over releasing Iranian war criminal
posted onJune 16, 2024

Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said he understood the "mixed" reaction after his country freed an Iranian national convicted of war crimes in return for the release of two Swedes illegally detained in Iran.

Iranian national Hamid Nouri returned to Iran on Saturday after being freed from Swedish prison as part of a prisoner swap deal mediated by Oman.

Nouri was serving a life sentence after being found guilty of "grave breaches of international humanitarian law and murder" over his role in a purge in which at least 5,000 prisoners were killed in Iran in 1988.

Sweden freed him on Saturday, in return for the release and return home of Swedish citizen and EU diplomat Johan Floderus and dual national Saeed Azizi, who Kristersson said had been "imprisoned without reason by Iran".

In a news conference after their release, Mr Kristersson said he understood that the swap had been "received with mixed feelings," but that he stood by the "difficult" decision.

"I understand how this is received with mixed feelings, not least among Swedes who stem from Iran. This was not an easy deliberation the government has had to make, but sometimes you have to do difficult things and do what is right."