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Desecrator of Qur’an worked for Mossad, spied on resistance front: Iran’s Intelligence Ministry

The logo of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry (R) and the national flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran's Intelligence Ministry says the Iraqi national who burnt a copy of the Holy Qur'an outside a mosque in the Swedish capital of Stockholm was affiliated with the Israeli Mossad spy agency and engaged in espionage activities against resistance groups.

The Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Salwan Momika was born in Iraq in 1986 and was hired by Mossad in 2019.

Stressing that Momika was “notorious” in his home country, the statement said his notoriety and criminal record, however, was “accepted and welcomed by the Zionists” at the time.

After being recruited by the Israeli spy agency, the Iraqi man “played a major role in spying on the resistance movement and advancing the project of Iraq's disintegration,” the Intelligence Ministry said.

As a reward for his betrayal of Iraq and the Islamic community, the 37-year-old was granted residency in Sweden with the assistance of the Zionists, it added.

The statement said Momika continued his “mercenary work for the usurping regime” during his stay in Sweden and was involved in various missions conducive to his new condition.

“One such mission was that in recent weeks, following the Zionist regime's plan to suppress the legitimate resistance of the people in the areas occupied in 1967 and the West Bank of the Jordan River, … this traitorous agent implemented a dark and blasphemous project,” the statement added, referring to the burning of the holy Muslim book.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry underlined that the desecration of the Holy Qur’an by Momika was part of the Israeli project to detract public attention away from the regime’s atrocities in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and the Palestinian resistance at that time.

“The evil show of the desecration of the holy Muslim book was organized and executed precisely with the aim of creating … media propaganda and marginalizing the news of the heinous and widespread crimes of the Zionist regime in the West Bank, especially the oppressed Jenin,” the statement said.

“This is common practice among the Zionists, who, along with every killing and destruction project, implement another criminal project in order to divert attention from the previous one,” it added.

On June 28, the Iraqi immigrant stomped on the Qur'an before setting several pages alight in front of Stockholm's largest mosque. The insult to the Muslim holy book was made under the authorization and protection of the Swedish police. 

The incident, coinciding with the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha and the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, drew the anger of Muslims from across the world.

Following the incident, several thousand Iraqis gathered near the Swedish embassy in Baghdad in protest against the Qur’an burning and demanded the expulsion of the ambassador.

People in other Muslim countries also took to the streets in protest against the move.

The perpetrator of the sacrilegious move told a Swedish newspaper later that he intended to repeat his protest in July.

Sweden has repeatedly permitted Qur'an burnings in recent years. In January, a Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist burned a copy of the Qur'an near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

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