Italy on Wednesday told Iran's envoy that it strongly opposes the death sentence for spying for Israel given to Iranian-Swedish medical scholar Ahmadreza Djalali in 2017 following his 2016 arrest in Tehran during a visit.
Foreign ministry secretary-general Elisabetta Belloni voiced the Italian government and public's deep concern at Djalali's sentencing to death, according to a statement.
Italy is committed to a global moratorium on the death penalty and has pressured Iran's authorities to commute Djalali's sentence, Belloni said.
Italy will continue to follow Djalali's case closely in close coordination with European partners and other like-minded countries, the statement added.
If Djalali's sentence is carried out it will be the first execution of an Iranian with dual citizenship.
Top United Nations experts also called on 25 November for an immediate halt to Djalali's execution. “His torture, arbitrary detention, death sentence and now reported imminent execution are unconscionable acts that should be condemned by the international community in the strongest terms,” the experts said in a statement.
A day earlier, on November 24, a letter, signed by 149 Nobel laureates and addressed directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asked him to “direct the Iranian authorities to allow Dr. Djalali to return home to his wife and children and continue his scholarly work for the benefit of mankind.”