The European Union’s top diplomat confirmed on today that Johan Floderus, a Swedish diplomat working for the European Union, has been held captive in Iran for more than 500 days.

Arriving at a meeting on development in the Spanish city of Cadiz, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that Brussels was pushing relentlessly for the 33-year-old’s release.

Iran announced in July last year it had arrested a man on suspicion of espionage, two weeks after an Iranian citizen received a life jail term in Sweden for his role in the Iranian regime’s 1988 mass executions of thousands of opponents.

A Stockholm court found former Iranian prison head Hamid Noury guilty of aggravated crimes against international law and murder.

Several capitals have accused Iran of practising hostage diplomacy — arresting Western nationals to obtain concessions such as the release of detained Iranians.

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