Sun, 28 May 2023

Iran says it has arrested two citizens of a European country as a European Union envoy visited Tehran for talks on stalled nuclear negotiations with world powers.

'Two Europeans have been arrested in Iran for organizing riots in the country,' the Intelligence Ministry was quoted as saying on May 11 by Iranian news agencies.

No further details, such as the nationality of those detained, were revealed.

Sweden said last week that one of its citizens traveling as a tourist had been detained in Iran, but it wasn't clear if his case was connected to the Intelligence Ministry's announcement.

IRNA said that 'foreign conspirators' had sent two 'experienced agents' to Iran to sow discord.

It said the ministry was pursuing them from "the moment of arrival" and that all their relations with the "illegal Council of Teachers League" were documented.

The announcement, which came during a visit by the EU's nuclear talks envoy, Enrique Mora, comes amid threats by Tehran to execute an Iranian-Swedish researcher imprisoned since 2016 and as another Iranian national faces a life sentence in Sweden.

Mora is coordinating the talks to revive Iran's nuclear accord with world powers amid last-ditch efforts to salvage the deal after a weeks-long standstill of the talks in Vienna.

Mora said he'd meet with Iranian negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani during his visit to the Iranian capital.

"Work on closing the remaining gaps [as] this negotiation continues," he tweeted.

Iran is threatening to execute Swedish-Iranian researcher Ahmadreza Djalali by May 21. Jalali specializes in disaster relief and has taught at European universities. Rights groups have condemned his detention.

The announcement of his imminent execution came as an Iranian national charged in Sweden over mass executions committed in the 1980s awaited his sentence.

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 has said that a verdict is expected on July 14.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

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