Iran jails two Swedish citizens for alleged drug trafficking

Members of Iranian security forces stand guard in front of the embassy of Sweden in Tehran.
Members of Iranian security forces stand guard in front of the embassy of Sweden in Tehran. Copyright ATTA KENARE / AFP, FILE
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Tensions between Tehran and Stockholm soared after a Swedish court convicted a former Iranian official of war crimes during the 1980s.


Iran's judiciary says it has sentenced two Swedish citizens to multi-year prison terms on charges of drug trafficking.

Simon Kasper Brown was handed a five-year sentence and fined around €34,000 for allegedly smuggling 21,000 pills of the banned pain medication Tramadol.

Security forces detained Brown at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport in January 2020 and confiscated the pills, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Stephen Kevin Gilbert was jailed for eight years and fined around €500 for allegedly smuggling 9.8 kilograms of opium-based drugs into the country via the same airport. Both men were arrested while preparing to leave the country.

The two sentences are the latest in a series of cases that have heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and the European Union member state.

Earlier this year, Iran jailed two Swedish visitors in separate incidents on widely criticised espionage charges. Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali has been held in Iran since 2016 and faces the death penalty for allegedly spying for Israel.

Tensions escalated after a Swedish account convicted a former Iranian prison official of committing atrocities during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war.

Stockholm District Court sentenced Hamid Noury to life imprisonment in July, prompting Tehran to recall its ambassador.

It was the first time that an Iranian official was tried and convicted for the mass killing of opponents in 1988.

Iran has imprisoned at least a dozen dual nationals in recent years, most held on disputed drug charges that carry harsh sentences.

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