Iran freed a Spanish national who had been detained for over a year.

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Sunday, the Spanish embassy in Iran announced that the final Spanish national detained in the country, a tourist who was apprehended shortly after entering the country in October 2022, had been released. Iran freed a Spanish national who had been detained for over a year.

As protests erupted in Iran following the death in custody of young Iranian Mahsa Amini, who was arrested purportedly for violating laws requiring women to cover their heads, Santiago Sanchez Cogedor was detained.

She perished in the hospital after falling into a coma due to what her family claimed was mistreatment; this precipitated the unrest.

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The Iranian embassy in Spain announced on social media, “The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is pleased to announce the release of Santiago Sanchez Cogedor, the only Spanish national detained in Iran.”

“His release occurs by the law and amid historic and cordial relations between the two nations,” the embassy further stated.

Social media was used to commemorate Sanchez Cogedor’s “return to Spain for the New Year” on behalf of the royal house of King Felipe VI.

Sanchez Cogedor had arrived in Iran several months before the football fan’s January 2022 departure on an extensive foot journey to Qatar in preparation for the World Cup in November-December.

His family last saw no trace of him several weeks before the start of the tournament.

On October 1, he posted his final Instagram message chronicling his exploits, in which he stated he was in a village in northern Iraq en route to the Iranian frontier.

Later broadcast by a television station, a voicemail to his parents stated that he was in Tehran en route to the Strait of Hormuz port of Bandar Abbas, from which he planned to board a boat to Qatar.

His arrest was communicated to his parents by the Spanish foreign ministry a few days later, his mother, Celia Cogedor, told AFP in late October.

It is widely recognized that Iran is in the custody of over ten Western nationals, and governments and non-governmental organizations accuse Tehran of using them as leverage for its nationals.

Amini’s demise came to represent a collective opposition to the mandatory hijab, and the subsequent suppression of demonstrations resulted in tens of thousands of arrests and hundreds of fatalities.

Tehran has accused the United States of inciting the protests. In September 2022, the Iranian government declared the apprehension of nine foreign nationals from various European countries, including France, Italy, and Poland, because they were allegedly connected to the protests.