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

July 2, 2023 at 11:40 am

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian holds a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon on April 28, 2023 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

Iran will refrain from sending a new ambassador to Sweden in protest over the burning of a Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Sunday, reports Reuters.

A man tore up and burned a Quran outside Stockholm’s central mosque on Wednesday, the first day of the Muslim Eid al Adha holidays.

Swedish police charged the man who burned the holy book with agitation against an ethnic or national group. In a newspaper interview, he described himself as an Iraqi refugee seeking to ban it.

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 Quran,” Amirabdollahian said on Twitter on Sunday.

READ: Burning Quran or any other holy book ‘clear act of provocation’

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.