The Swedish government’s meeting with one of the “masterminds” of 1979’s hostage crisis was roundly condemned by Iranian anti-regime activists.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
The Swedish Foreign Ministry came under attack by Iranian dissidents who protested its official meeting Tuesday with an active participant in the infamous Iranian hostage crisis. The individual in question, Masoumeh Ebtekar, eventually became Iran’s vice-president for women and family affairs.
According to an Iranian news site, Ebtekar discussed the expansion of trade and other ties with Sweden in a meeting with Ann Linde, Sweden’s Minister for European Union Affairs and Trade. She also extolled Tehran’s cooperation with Europe in general, particularly on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.
For her part, Linde reportedly said that as the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that Iran has lived up to its commitments under the JCPOA, “It is now up to the international community to express its support for Iran.”
Over 100 Iranian expatriates from all over the world signed a statement condemning the Swedish government’s discussions with Ebtekar.
“We Iranians living in democratic western countries are greatly disturbed by the total lack of human dignity in this invitation,” the statement read in part. “We believe the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supporting an illegal act, where an embassy was taken over by force and diplomats taken hostage, by inviting one of the masterminds behind that horrific act.”
The dissidents also wondered at the official invitation since “Mrs. Ebtekar has never expressed regret for that act.”
In videos from that time, Ebtekar can be seen talking to the press as the student revolutionaries’ spokeswoman to the international media, speaking of how she was personally ready to kill the Americans held hostage in their Tehran embassy. The thought of committing such murders did not move her, as she stated that the captured diplomats and ordinary citizens were all the tools through which an “imperialist” America had committed countless crimes against Iran.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven visited Iran last year and signed a number of agreements with Tehran. According to the Swedish Trade and Invest Council, Iran has traditionally been an important export market for Sweden, especially in the fields of telecommunications, mining and transport.