Fred Saberi

Sweden Rivals Iran in Violating Human Rights

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After the “chief apologist” of the Iran’s mullahregime Javad Zarif’s controversial trip to Sweden, for whichSwedish government was criticized, Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom unexpectedly announced her resignation. She cited family matters for her abrupt departure and said she wanted to spend more time with her family. Yet, many Swedes found her public explanation not convincing at all.

The insiders in capital Stockholm believe that her meddling with high-level European Union affairs,her intrusion into boundaries that are above her mandate, and her outright anti-Israel stanceare the real reasons that forced her to leave the government.

Wallstrom’sstanding on Zarif’s visit marked a sharp contrast to the position of her colleagues in other Nordic countries where Iran’s foreign minister also paid a visit. When Zarif’s visitprompted anoutcry among the Iranian opposition groups in Sweden, some activists were beaten by the Swedish police, which maintained a heavy presence during the visit.

Wallstrom’s replacement with Ann Linde, who is an Islamist feminist, did not provide any relief to human rights groups in Sweden either, as she isan enthusiastic fan of the Islamic regime in Iran. Linde’s track record shows that shecongratulated Tehran’s officials and emissaries in the Iranian embassy in Stockholm and describedthe disastrous Islamic revolution’s birthday as“Iran’s National Day”.

Linde has been an appeaser of the Islamic regime and calls herself a proponent of Islamic fundamentalism and an anti-Israel activist. In 2017, she led a Swedish business delegation to Iran, which consisted of feminist figures who willfully ignored the Iranian women’s plight under the brutal Islamic regime. During her visit, she bowed to the mullahs by wearing hijab, an act thatwas bitterly criticized back in Sweden.

Paul Widén, a Swedish journalist, criticized the “world’s first feminist government’s” trip to Iran and wrote: “Ann Linde, who is a feminist, and the rest of the Swedish delegation wore hijab during their trip to Iran, where women are harassed, beaten, tortured and imprisoned. Linde basically genuflected to the Iranian regime’s top officials.”

According to Widén, “surprisingly Ann Linde holds cold sentiments towards Israel, since she is a diehard fan of Richard Falk who frequently accuses Israel of crimes against humanity. Following his line of argument, she always talks about empty allegations that Israel wants to build 800 new settlements around Jerusalem.”

This is another indication that she ignores even the basic principles. Such a person is chosen as the foreign minister of a country whose one percent of GDP is allocated to the poor countries, a clear sign of respecting human and women’s rights. Is this a sign of feminism, or “Femin-Islamism”?

Sweden’s feminist government indulges the Islamic regime while it is fully aware of the regime’s misogynistic attitude. It is certainly aware of the case ofthree women who defied compulsory hijab in Iran andhave been sentenced to 55 years in prison; or the case of the Belgian tourist who was beaten by the Islamic regime’s agents for not wearing hijab.

Linde and her feminist government view human rights only in their own country’s domain, and egregious violations of human rights in Iran are blatantly ignored on the pretext of respecting other countries’ laws. She might also view the self-immolation and tragic death of Sahar Khodayari,better known as the Blue Girl, who protested fornot being allowed to watch her favorite football team’s match in the stadium and was sentenced to prison for that, as a sign of respect for the Islamic regime’s laws.

What is the true purpose of pickingthehijab-donning Linde as the foreign ministerin Sweden while there are other eligible and more experienced women who deserve this position? What has happened to Sweden? A country that once was one of the top advocates of human rights and women’s rights in the world is so degraded that it now competes with the regime of the mullahs in violating human rights.

Isn’t it the time for Sweden to regain its position as the pioneer of human rights by renouncing its false feminist gesture and allowing those who are truly eligible to take the helm in politics? The Swedish government will never reach its destination by appeasing Islamists and supporting them against Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. By pursuing such policies, they will endanger Sweden’s security and turnSweden into a safe haven for terrorists.

About the Author
Fred Saberi is a Swedish political analyst of Iranian origin interested in Middle East affairs.