The man, identified as Raghdan al-Hraishawi in court documents, was convicted by the Stockholm District Court of carrying out illegal intelligence activities by collecting information about minority Iranian Arabs, known as Ahvazis.
Sweden’s intelligence agency said al-Hraishawi, who has both Iraqi and Swedish citizenship, was arrested on Feb. 27. He denied the charges and claimed he only was working as a reporter. Parts of his trial were held behind closed doors.
Al-Hraishawi obtained permanent residence in Sweden in 2009, according to the verdict, obtained by The Associated Press.
According to the court, the investigation showed the man’s spying activities lasted over a period of four years, ending in February. He is said to have had contacts within the Iranian intelligence service and Judge Tomas Zander said he communicated with his contacts through specific internet-based addresses and using special telephones. The man also secretly met with his intelligence contacts, the judge said.
The Iraqi man’s activities have “been going on for a long time. The crime has therefore been assessed as serious,” the court said.
During the trial, prosecutors said the man had photographed and filmed Ahvazi gatherings and demonstrations in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.