17:04 GMT +323 July 2019
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    Iran Summons Swedish Ambassador In Protest to Granting Citizenship to Prisoner

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    The Swedish foreign ministry confirmed that it has granted citizenship to Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian academic with Swedish residency.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying that the Swedish envoy in Tehran had been summoned in protest on Monday.

    "In the meeting, the Islamic Republic of Iran voiced strong protest against the action taken by the Swedish government to grant citizenship to an agent of Mossad who has confessed to participating in the assassination of Iranian scientists," Qasemi stated.

    The scientist was arrested in Tehran in April, 2016, and was later convicted of espionage, accused of transferring information to Israel. Iran's Supreme Court passed the death sentence in December, taking into consideration Ahmadreza Djalali’s confession to meeting agents from Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and supplying them with information on Iran's nuclear and defense plans.

    "We have been in regular contact with Iranian representatives, requested access to Djalali and presented Sweden's view on the death penalty, which we condemn in all its forms. Our demand is that the death penalty not be carried out," a Swedish spokeswoman said.

    Qasemi considered Sweden's move "questionable and unfriendly," and added that Tehran "could not accept the foreign nationality" of the detainee.

    READ MORE: Hot Debate Around Iran Nuclear Deal on Final Day of Munich Security Conference

    Djalali was on a business trip to Iran when he was arrested and sent to the Evin prison. 

    Amnesty went on to say that Djalali wrote a letter from prison in August, stating that he was being held for refusing to spy for Iran.

    Seventy-five Nobel Prize laureates wrote a petition to Iranian authorities last year, requesting the release of Djalali so he could "continue his scholarly work for the benefit of mankind."

    He was allegedly held in solitary confinement for three months and tortured, human rights group Amnesty International has said.

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    prisoner, scientists, Bahram Qasemi, Tehran, Sweden, Iran
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