The government of iran asked this Monday Sweden y United Kingdom not send spies into the country, and complained that these nations advise their citizens not to set foot on Iranian soil.
“I ask you to try not to send spies to Iran,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Khatibzade told a news conference, referring to Sweden and Britain.
The spokesman said that European countries “make noise and create scandals” by sending criminals and spies to Iran and then portraying the Persian country “as if it were a country on red alert” in their travel recommendations.
In recent weeks, several incidents have led Sweden and the United Kingdom to toughen their travel recommendations to Iran, such as the announcement of the upcoming execution of a Swedish-Iranian citizen for espionage and the arrest of two Frenchmen accused of causing social disorder.
The update of the travel recommendations is for Iranian diplomacy “a new policy” that these countries do not officially announce.
“Instead of announcing their positions from a tribune (officially), they express it in travel advisories,” the spokesman said.
Britain has called on its citizens to avoid “any travel” to Iran after two Frenchmen were arrested on Iranian soil on charges of causing social disorder and working for a foreign intelligence service last week.
“There are a number of Iranian-British dual nationals who have been imprisoned for long periods,” UK authorities warned.
“Iran has recently detained non-Iranian European citizens traveling on tourist visas,” they added.
In addition, Iranian authorities announced the upcoming execution this month of Iranian-Swedish citizen Ahmad Reza Jalali, sentenced to death in October 2017 in Iran for allegedly spying for Mossad, the Israeli espionage service.
That announcement came after a trial in Sweden of former Iranian official Hamid Nuri for allegedly participating in the execution of thousands of opponents of Iran’s theocratic regime in 1988 with a request for life imprisonment ended.
Jatibzade also recalled today the case of the Iranian diplomat Assadollah Asadí, sentenced last year in Belgium to 20 years in prison for “attempted terrorist assassination” during an Iranian opposition rally outside Paris in 2018.
Regarding this case, the spokesman accused European countries of “holding” Iranian citizens for political purposes.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been accused of using prisoners with dual nationality in particular, but also from other countries, as a means of pressure or for prisoner exchanges with other countries.
This has been referred to as Iran’s “hostage diplomacy” by other countries and human rights organizations.