| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

Iran holds off sending ambassador to Sweden in protest over Koran incident

Iran will not send a new ambassador to Sweden in response to the burning of a Koran outside a mosque in Stockholm, according to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the first day of the Muslim Eid al Adha festivities, a guy tore up and burnt a Koran outside Stockholm’s prominent mosque.

The guy who burnt the holy book was charged with incitement against an ethnic or national group by Swedish police. He portrayed himself as an Iraqi refugee wanting to outlaw it in a media interview.

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned Sweden’s charge d’affaires on Thursday to condemn what it said was an insult to the most sacred Islamic sanctities.

“Although administrative procedures to appoint a new ambassador to Sweden have ended, the process of dispatching them has been held off due to the Swedish government’s issuing of a permit to desecrate the Holy Koran,” Amirabdollahian said on Twitter on Sunday.

He did not specify how long Iran would refrain from sending an embassador to Sweden.

While Swedish police have rejected several recent applications for anti-Koran demonstrations, courts have overruled those decisions, saying they infringed freedom of speech.

In its permit for Wednesday’s demonstration, Swedish police said that while it “may have foreign policy consequences”, the security risks and consequences linked to a Koran burning were not of such a nature that the application should be rejected.

  • Reuters