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Iran warns Sweden of 'dire consequences' over Qur'an desecration, promoting violence

The combined photo shows Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) and his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billström. 

Iran's foreign minister has warned Sweden of "dire consequences" for continuing to allow acts of Qur'an desecration and called on Stockholm to adopt necessary measures amid global outcry.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the call in a phone conversation with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billström on Friday, a day after a man desecrated the Muslim holy book outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm. 

Sweden should put an end to such "divisive" measures that incite violence, Amir-Abdollahian said, warning of their "dire consequences." 

Amir-Abdollahian lamented that the Swedish police allowed people to abuse freedom of expression to insult core Islamic values, which he called a clear act of violence against Muslims.

“Desecrating Qur'an and other holy books and sanctities in any place, by anybody and under any condition is strongly condemned. [Allowing] the repetition of such measures in the name of freedom of speech is unacceptable and unjustifiable.”

“How can Sweden, who claims to be a frontrunner on human rights, so indifferently condone [this desecration] less than 10 days since the ratification of a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council slamming insults to religious sanctities?” he said, referring to a resolution by the UN body on July 12 that called for states to review their laws and plug gaps that may allow for preaching religious hatred.

The Iranian foreign minister said, “Aside from statements, the individual who committed this unforgivable insult should be arrested, put to trial and be held accountable. Otherwise, Sweden should wait for decisive decisions by Muslim countries.”

During the talk, the top Swedish diplomat said the government condemned the desecration. He said the Swedish police only permitted gatherings and the individual who insulted Qur'an had exploited this permit.

That resolution came after the Iraqi immigrant in Sweden set several pages of the Qur'an alight under police protection in front of Stockholm's largest mosque in late June. 

Millions of Muslims across various countries including Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq took to the streets on Friday to slam the desecration of Islamic sanctities in Sweden. 

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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