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Ex-Iranian official Hamid Nouri returns home after long incarceration in Sweden

Former Iranian official Hamid Nouri.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani has confirmed that Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official who had been illegally imprisoned in Sweden on politically motivated charges, has been released from prison and returned to Iran.

Kan'ani described Nouri's release from detention in Sweden as another manifestation of the Islamic Republic’s diplomacy in realizing and securing national interests and also firmly supporting the rights of Iranians.

He noted that Nouri's detention was based on a wrongful order by the Swedish court and that his release was achieved as a result of continuous political, legal and consular efforts of the diplomatic system, the judiciary and other relevant authorities in Iran.

The spokesman further noted that Nouri has returned to Iran after enduring 1,680 days of indescribable detention contrary to the basic principles of human rights.

The official also appreciated the continuous efforts of the late president Ebrahim Raeisi and foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian towards securing Nouri's release.

Kan’ani also thanked the role of Oman in helping to facilitate the process, emphasizing that the Foreign Ministry will continue to work diligently for the release of other Iranian citizens abroad.

Nouri was arrested upon arrival at Stockholm Airport in November 2019 and was immediately imprisoned. He was illegally jailed for three and a half years in solitary confinement in Sweden.

He was put on trial on unfounded allegations staged against him by elements representing the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group that has openly boasted about carrying out terrorist operations against Iranian officials and civilians perceived to be supporters of the government.

Message to MKO terrorists from home 

"I’m finally back in Tehran together with my family. Where are you taking refuge now?” Nouri said while addressing members of the MKO upon arrival at Mehrabad airport.

“It was a fairly challenging, complicated and dreadful case. It was alleged that not even God can help Hamid Nouri get free, but it came about at last just like Khorramshahr was liberated," he added, referring to the liberation of the southwestern city from former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invading army back in May 1982.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s top human rights official had announced that Nouri has been released from prison.

Kazem Gharibabadi, who serves as head of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights, announced Nouri’s release in a post on his X account on Saturday.

"I am delighted to inform the esteemed nation of Iran that Mr. Hamid Nouri, who has been under detention in Sweden since 2019, has been released and will be returning to our country within a few hours," Gharibabadi said.

He also attributed this success to the efforts of his colleagues in the Judiciary, the Ministry of Intelligence, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, particularly the late foreign minister.

A Swedish court had sentenced Nouri to life imprisonment in 2022. The court, which was described by Iran as illegitimate in the first place, convicted Nouri of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” entirely based on claims made by MKO terrorists living in exile across Europe.

Sweden’s Appeal Court then upheld the verdict in December 2023.

Nouri himself has vehemently denied the charges brought against him in the case while calling them fabricated.

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