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Sweden Condemns 'Islamophobic' Quran Burning, Iran Refuses to Send Ambassador

Following the incident, hundreds of Iraqi protestors raided the Swedish Embassy in Iraq.

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After an incident where the Holy Qu'ran was burnt outside a mosque in Stockholm, the Iranian government has decided to ditch the dispatch of a new ambassador to Sweden.

Salwan Momika, an Iraqi-born refugee, tore and burnt the holy book of Islam outside the Stockholm Central Mosque on 28 June, on the auspicious Eid al-Adha holiday.

He also waved two Swedish flags with the national anthem playing over a speaker and laid a strip of bacon on the Quran before stamping over it with his foot.

Hossein Amirabdollahian, Iran's foreign minister, blamed the Swedish government for granting Momika the protest permit.

In a statement, the Iranian foreign minister confirmed that, despite the recent appointment, Tehran would not be sending the new ambassador.

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"The process of dispatching them has been held off due to the Swedish government's issuing of a permit to desecrate the Holy Koran," Amirabdollahian tweeted.

In objection to the Quran burning incident, countries such as Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco have summoned Swedish ambassadors.

Additionally, Iraq's foreign ministry Sweden to extradite the man who burned the Quran, arguing that since he still holds Iraqi citizenship, he should face trial in Baghdad.

Following the incident, hundreds of Iraqi protestors raided the Swedish Embassy in Iraq.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson denounced the raid in a press conference saying:

"It is of course completely unacceptable for people to unlawfully break into Swedish embassies in other countries. I think we also need to reflect in Sweden. It is a serious security situation, there is no reason to insult other people."

Kristersson, referring to Momika's actions, added that there was no reason “to insult other people."

"It is difficult to say what the consequences will be. I think there are many people who have reason to reflect. I think that just because some things are legal they are not necessarily appropriate."
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson

The Foreign Minister of Sweden spoke after an international Islamic body called for measures to avoid future burnings.

“The Swedish government fully understands that the Islamophobic acts committed by individuals at demonstrations in Sweden can be offensive to Muslims,” the Foreign Ministry said.

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The incident has been the cause of anger in other Muslim-majority countries like Turkey, which is a Nato member and has a say over whether Sweden's membership.

Turkey's foreign minister Hakan Fidan tweeted that it was "unacceptable (on the part of Sweden) to allow anti-Islam protests in the name of freedom of expression".

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Topics:  Iraq   Iran   Sweden 

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