Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, August 22, 2019–Freedom loving Iranians in Stockholm, Sweden, supporters of the Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), held a rally on Wednesday, August 21, protesting a visit by the mullahs’ Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Protesters held signs and chanted slogans to let the world and international media know of their protests. “Javad Zarif is a murderer, No one should negotiate with him,” “Javad Zarif is the enemy of Iranians,” “Javad Zarif is a charlatan, He’s the enemy of the Iranian people,” were among the slogans voiced by the demonstrators.
The protesters were also holding signs reading, “Zarif get lost!” “Expel Iranian regime operatives from Scandinavian countries” and “Expel Javad Zarif.”
Iranians in Finland had also held a rally protesting Zarif’s scheduled visit to Scandinavian countries.
Al Arabiya cited Swedish media covering rallies held by PMOI/MEK supporters protesting the visit by the mullahs’ top diplomat to Stockholm.
Sweden’s SVT reported three injured protesters were transferred to hospitals and authorities intervened to distance 62 individuals after the situation became intense during Zarif’s stay.
Iranian activists launched an uproar by posting videos on social media showing the police attacking a number of demonstrators with batons. Radio Sweden reported the police arresting three demonstrators outside the Peace Institute on charges of disrupting public order.
The Swedish government is now facing strong criticism from a number of representatives. One member of the Swedish Parliament from the Conservative Party criticized Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for confirming the Iranian regime’s positions.
Press conference of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström held a press conference in regards to Zarif’s visit.
“We did not invite Zarif. He came himself,” she emphasized. This press conference was held without Zarif’s presence and reporters began asking questions about strong protests held by Iranian in Sweden against Zarif’s visit, demanding answers why such an individual has been accepted in Sweden.
A reporter of Sweden’s Express daily asked, “A variety of parties protested this visit and meeting. There’s been a demonstration outside of this building all afternoon. What is your response?”
Another reporter asked, “The protesters are calling on Sweden to take a precise position and impose further pressure on the Iranian regime before any meetings with their officials.”
“Sweden did not invite Zarif,” Wallström said in response. “He came himself and we had not invited any minister from Iran. He asked us if he could visit to Nordic countries.” In her remarks, Sweden’s top diplomat referred to the issue of human rights violations, executions, arrests and pressures imposed on women’s rights advocates, labor union activists, human rights advocates, the crackdown against religious and ethnic minorities by the mullahs’ regime. She also called for the cancellation of the death sentence issued by the mullahs’ so-called judiciary for a Swedish-Iranian arrested by the regime’s authorities.
On the mullahs’ piracy, Wallström said the British ship seized by Tehran must be released immediately, emphasizing the mullahs’ must also abide by all their commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).