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Swedish diplomat in 'seventh heaven' following release from Iran



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STOCKHOLM, June 16 (Reuters) -Swedish citizen Johan Floderus said he was in seventh heaven following his release from an Iranian prison on Saturday, in a recording published on the Swedish government's website on Sunday.

Sweden and Iran carried out a prisoner exchange on Saturday with Sweden freeing a former Iranian official convicted for his role in the mass execution and torture of political prisoners in Iran in 1988, while Iran released two Swedes being held there.

"I'm in the sky but emotionally I'm in seventh heaven. I have been waiting for this for almost 800 days," Floderus said in a recording of a telephone call between him and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson while he was on the flight back to Sweden.

Floderus, a European Union employee, was arrested in Iran in 2022 and charged with spying for Israel and "corruption on earth", a crime that carries the death penalty.

He said he had dreamt of the day of his release endless times. "Only to later wake up on that damn concrete floor," he said. "Now it is starting to sink in that I have left Iranian airspace and I am on my way back home again."

In a radio interview earlier on Sunday, Kristersson dismissed criticism from the wife of Swedish-Iranian dual national, Ahmadreza Djalali, who remains in an Iranian jail after Tehran refused to include him in the exchange.

"I have a lot of respect for her disappointment, but don't really understand the criticism. The alternative would have been to leave the two Swedes who could now come home," he told Swedish radio.



Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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