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Iran summons Swedish envoy over EU’s meddlesome stance on recent riots

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows a view of the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in the capital Tehran.

The ambassador of Sweden to Tehran has been called in by the Iranian Foreign Ministry over the interfering stance adopted by a number of the European Union member states and comments made by their officials about Iran’s domestic affairs.

Mattias Lentz was summoned by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday to receive Iran’s strong protest to anti-Tehran measures and remarks by some EU officials, as Sweden holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first six months of 2023.

The director general for the Foreign Ministry's Western Europe Department condemned the interventionist statements and measures about Iran's domestic affairs, stating that “Europe should seriously honor its responsibilities and respect the human rights values ​​of other countries than to resort to accusations, blame game and double standards.”

“Westerners abuse human rights as a diplomatic tool to advance their excessive goals. This is while human rights have originality, and their primary aim is to preserve human dignity and moral values,” the senior Iranian diplomat told the Swedish ambassador at the meeting. He denounced attempts to justify insults to religious, sacred and national values ​​of other nations under the pretext of freedom, stating that such bids amount to betrayal of the blessed concept of freedom, and injustice against humankind and human rights.

“In human societies, the goal of freedom is human excellence. Cultural vulgarity, desecration of sanctities, and insults to values are not in line with evolution and excellence,” the Iranian diplomat said. He pointed to the role of some European countries in promoting violence and hatred in other countries, saying, “Interference in the internal affairs of countries is against all international principles and regulations, and the Islamic Republic of Iran does not accept it at all.”

The Swedish ambassador was also called by the Iranian official to convey Tehran's profound chagrin over the unacceptable interference of some EU member states in Iran's internal affairs.

Lentz, for his part, promised to convey Iran’s protest to EU officials in Brussels.

Foreign-backed riots hit various Iranian provinces when 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died at the hospital on September 16 last year, three days after she collapsed at a police station in Tehran. An investigation attributed Amini’s death to her medical condition, rather than alleged beatings by the police.

The violent riots claimed the lives of dozens of people and security forces, while also allowing terrorist attacks across the country. In the past three months, terrorists have set fire to public property and tortured several Basij members and security forces to death.

The United States and its European allies have voiced staunch support for the continuation of violent riots across Iran and spared no effort to fan the flames of unrest in the country as part of their anti-Iran policies.

Several officials from the European Union, including its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, have explicitly supported the riots in Iran and made interventionist remarks about the country’s internal affairs. 

The European Union has also slapped sanctions on Iran, targeting individuals and organizations, over their response to the foreign-sponsored unrest.

Family members of Hamid Nouri meet Iran FM over Sweden court's mistreatment

Also on Thursday, family members of former official Hamid Nouri, who has been imprisoned in Sweden on baseless charges, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian following the unexpected and surprising behavior by the Swedish appeals court toward the Iranian national.

During the meeting, Amir-Abdollahian underlined that his ministry will continue its diligent efforts to provide Nouri with political and consular support and ensure that his rights are secured in the European country.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) meets family members of former Iranian official Hamid Nouri at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Tehran, Iran, on January 12, 2023. (Photo by Fars news agency)

A fresh set of trial hearings for Nouri, who was detained upon arrival at Stockholm Airport three years ago, started on Wednesday in a Swedish court.

Swedish authorities alleged, based on statements made by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), that he had been involved in the execution and torture of the members of the anti-Iran terrorist cult in 1988. The Iranian victim vehemently rejects the allegations.

In July, a Swedish court sentenced Nouri to life imprisonment. The court, which was described by Iranian officials as illegal, convicted Nouri of so-called war crimes and crimes against humanity, based on the MKO's allegations.

Nouri has been kept in solitary confinement throughout the entire period of his incarceration. He has also been denied legal representation and forbidden from contacting his family during the same period.

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