The two-day visit by the Iranian regime’s sanctioned foreign minister to Sweden on August 20 and 21, 2019, met with stormy protests of supporters of the Iranian opposition including by hundreds of Iranian women living in Sweden.
Iranian protesters loudly spoke out against the regime’s human rights violations, murdering dissidents in Iran, and suppressing women, rights activists and religious minorities. They denounced Stockholm’s acceptance of the foreign minister of the mullahs’ terrorist regime and demanded his expulsion from Sweden.
“Zarif, get lost!” chanted Iranian protesters, and cried out, “Zarif is a murderer and enemy of all Iranians”; “Zarif is a murderer, talks with him are unacceptable”; “Zarif is a charlatan and enemy of the people of Iran”; “Zarif is a terrorist murderer”, etc.
The exiled Iranians supporting the Iranian Resistance, defend and echo the stifled voice of Iranian women and youth and many of them are survivors of families persecuted by the clerical regime. However, they were violently treated by the Swedish Police.
A number of women were among 50 Iranian protesters who were beaten up and arrested by the Police. They included prominent Iranian women’s rights activists, former political prisoners, and families of victims of the 1988 massacre.
The violent treatment of Iranian women and protesters by the Swedish Police took place while the foreign minister of the world’s top state-sponsor of terrorism was being treated as a guest at the Foreign Ministry building in Stockholm.
He was further given a forum at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) where he threatened the world with “unpredictability” in response to “unpredictable” U.S. policies.
Additionally, he threatened the opposition protesters with murder in an interview with the state-run Iranian Press TV on August 21. He said, “they would not stay alive for a minute,” if they are caught by the regime’s agents.
The vehement protests by supporters of the Iranian Resistance in Stockholm caused cancellation of a joint press conference by Zarif and the Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström.
Appearing solo in front of the press, Margot Wallström denied having invited Zarif to Sweden, saying he had come on his own to visit Nordic countries!
Under fire, Ms. Wallström tried to justify her meeting with Javad Zarif by criticizing the regime’s human rights record of executions and detentions of women’s rights advocates, labor and human rights activists, and religious minorities. She also stressed that the Iranian regime must comply with all its obligations under the JCPOA and immediately release the British-flagged oil tanker, Stena Impero.
The mullahs’ Foreign Minister was sanctioned just three weeks ago by the U.S. Department of Treasury as the key enabler of the Iranian regime’s policies in the region and the world. The U.S. State Department called him the chief apologist of the regime, who is “just as complicit in the regime’s outlaw behavior as the rest of Khamenei’s mafia.”
His remarks at Stockholm’s peace institute, menacing global peace, and threatening Iranian protesters in Stockholm to death, are good indications of what is taking place in the Iranian regime’s prisons and torture chambers and of the treatment of dissidents and political prisoners in Iran.
They further reveal that receiving the mullahs’ Foreign Minister emboldens the regime to engage in terrorism, murder and warmongering, counter to the interests of the Iranian people, who are seeking regime change and the establishment of democracy and popular sovereignty in Iran.
In a meeting at Ashraf 3 on July 14, 2019, Swedish jurist and former member of parliament, Kenneth Lewis said, “Our Foreign Minister last year visited Tehran. A foreign minister, a woman who represents a feminist foreign policy, goes to Iran to sell trucks and construction equipment and even puts on a chador.
“With this, I want to say that there are still a lot of people in Europe who have not understood that appeasement is not the way forward. A country like Sweden who claim that they are defending human rights are more interested in selling their trucks and don’t care really about human rights when it comes down to the final analysis.”