“If the EU countries don’t want to deal very strongly with my husband’s case, absolutely, it will happen soon,” Vida Mehrannia told AFP in Stockholm.

“Every night we are worried about the idea that something will happen to my husband,” said the wife of the convict, with whom she has not had direct contact since April 2020.

Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death in 2017 on charges of spying for Israel, allegations denied by Sweden and its backers.

“He is completely innocent and he needs the support of the European Union,” said Ms Mehrannia.

Their ten-year-old son, who has not seen his father for six years, is waiting for his return “every minute”.

“If something happens to my husband, I think all the countries of the European Union will be responsible because they will have turned a blind eye to human rights in Iran”, lamented his wife.

Local Iranian media had reported that the scholar would be executed no later than May 21, but the execution did not take place.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Said Khatibzadeh said last Monday that his country could postpone the planned execution of the researcher, while ensuring that the “conviction of Mr. Djalali [was] final”.

Helaleh Moussavian, Mr. Djalali’s lawyer, told AFP on Sunday that his team had requested a new trial on the basis of new evidence.

The researcher, who was based in Stockholm where he worked for the Karolinska Institute of Medicine, was arrested during a visit to Iran in 2016.

In February 2018, while he was detained, Sweden granted him Swedish citizenship.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged Tehran to revoke Djalali’s conviction.

More than a dozen Westerners, mostly dual nationals, are currently detained by Iran, which is suspected of wanting to cash them in exchange for concessions from the West.