Ahmad Reza Jalali could be executed tomorrow, December 2, IranWire has learned.
Jalali’s wife Vida Mehran Nia told IranWire: "His lawyer called and said that Ahmad Reza would be transferred to Rajaei Shahr today for his sentence to be carried out.” The lawyer said the execution was due to take place on Wednesday morning.
She added that Jalali, an Iranian-Swedish disaster medicine specialist, had also telephoned her on Tuesday to give her the news.
Before his arrest on April 24, 2016, Jalali had traveled to Iran on several occasions at the invitation of Iranian universities. He was arrested three days before he was due to join his family in Sweden.
Authorities accused Jalali of collaborating with Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad and aiding the assassinations of two Iranian nuclear scientists, Massoud Ali Mohammadi and Majid Shahriari, by providing agents with information about them.
News of Jalali’s possible execution emerged just days after the murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of Iran’s top nuclear scientists, outside Tehran. It also came two days before a trial got underway in Belgium against Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi and three others facing prosecution over an alleged bomb plot in Paris in 2018. This case will undoubtedly increase tensions between the European Union and the Islamic Republic.
Nizar Zakka, who was in prison in Iran for four years and spent time in the same prison as Jalali, has been campaigning for Jalali's release. With other former hostages, he is appealing to the EU to take action tonight, and says Iranian authorities will carry out the execution unless the EU, Belgium and Swedish governments do something.
"We want to push the EU to negotiate now and to make a deal. They had the opportunity to pressure Iran in the past. This is an innocent person, he’s going to be killed, we need him out even if they have to compromise, if they have to get out the terrorists from Belgium. They have to get this guy out ... all these countries should be unified and act together against this terrorist regime. And [foreign minister Javad] Zarif and [President Hassan] Rouhani have to pay the price. We need to get Ahmad back home.”
Jalali has denied all allegations, saying he was forced to confess under severe pressure and torture. Although there are serious ambiguities regarding Jalali's case, he was sentenced to death in 2017, and the verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court.
"It appears that the officials of the Islamic Republic have not heeded the warnings of international human rights organizations and are determined to carry out the sentence,” Vida Mehran Nia said, echoing comments from her husband’s lawyer.
Prior to his arrest, Jalali had spent several years in Sweden, and he became a Swedish citizen while in prison. Last week, the Swedish government urged Iran to show restraint and not execute Jalali. "I have informed the Swedish government and all human rights organizations who have been following Ahmad Reza’s case that my husband's life is in danger," said Mehran Nia.