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'Iran may be spying on exiles in Sweden': agency

Published: 07 Nov 2011 10:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Nov 2011 10:14 GMT+01:00

Iran has both the ability and the inclination to keep tabs on political antagonists in Sweden, according to new guidelines issued by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

“They have both the ability and a strong interest in doing so,” Mikael Ribbenvik, legal expert at the Migration Board told news agency TT.

The Migration Board has now issued new guidelines on Iran, describing which groups are being persecuted and how the regime's surveillance of the opposition abroad should be considered when exiled Iranians' asylum claims are decided upon.

The new guidelines reflect the Migration Board's assessment, after liaising with Sweden's Security Services, Säpo, that the regime in Tehran puts “considerable resources” into mapping out the activities of those opposing the government, even if they became politically active outside of Iran.

"Things have deteriorated in Iran in recent years in the wake of the 2009 election. The regime has also shown a growing concern over witnessing several governments in the Middle East and Northern Africa fall,” said Ribbenvik.

The hard line shown by Iran has meant that more refugees have been granted asylum in Sweden.

However, the Migration Board has been under fire after refusing to grant asylum to an Iranian man in September, despite the fact that he has been openly politically active while in Sweden.

According to the court, his activity had been on too low a level and the court never considered whether his activities could be known to the Iranian government.

The new guidelines from the Migration Board will replace information issued as late as July, which were never considered in the case of the politically active Iranian asylum seeker.

According to the agency, the court instead based its decision on British intelligence on Iran from last year.

What the new guidelines on the one hand, and the court's decision on the other, will mean for asylum seekers from Iran, Ribbenvik wouldn't speculate.

“In many cases, the information we have about the country is crucial in these matters. However, it isn't possible to anticipate these cases in advance or say who will get to stay and who won't, or if there will be more allowed to stay or less,” he said.

Attempts by The Local to reach the Iranian embassy in Stockholm for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:06 November 7, 2011 by Uncle
Oh, where is iraniboy, bashing that iranian government? Mmm, nowhere to be seen. How about Rickie? Where art thou?

Imagine the amount of whines and acts of self burning if it would be the big or the little Satan doing it.
22:36 November 7, 2011 by Just_Kidding
It is a tricky situation. I preferred if Swedish government kept its limited capacity to offer asylum only to active political participants in Iran, who have tried to put pressure on Iranian government while leaving in Iran, and only are seeking asylum due to a genuine threat against their lives. Protesting openly inside Sweden against government of Iran wouldn't have much affect on government of Iran and at the same time it would only make returning to Iran harder for the asylum seekers.

Maybe asylum seekers should be advised against protesting publicly until their case is decided upon. There is a large number of Iranians with more secure social status that can participate in these demonstrations.

Atheisit Iranian
23:01 November 7, 2011 by underskyofsweden
I know it's most often much tricky to find out which asylum seeker is the right one who should be protected and who is not to take care of but still there are many Iranians who are completely eligible for political protection but they have not enough documents and evidences to prove that! It sucks and it hurts...Many of these people if they get back to Iran, they can't live freely anymore and most probably they will be imprisoned and convicted!
00:13 November 8, 2011 by Uncle
Why do I hear hints to Swedish Bureaucracy fault and calls for changing the system of citizenship giving? They are not spied upon by the wind, ghosts, earthquakes and other strange things that no one has the power to stop!

They are spied upon by operatives of iranian islamic mullah regime. This regime had it's rampage all over the continental Europe, killing most prominent opposition members, while not considering shoot-outs in crowded restaurants below its status back in the 80's.

This regime should be pounded upon, blockaded and starved. Their operatives dragged to the light and tried. It should be shamed and all trade with this monster should be stopped...

Instead I read suggestions on how it is better to hide the opposition in bunkers until they get their citizenship, as if iranian islamic dictators are a non-stoppable nature disaster.

Oh, I forgot, they are muslim dictators and thereby are by definition not capable of being guilty or bloodthirsty. They could be good and wonderful OR supported by the evil west. In the former case, it is a glory of islam that inspires them to be fluffy and gentle, whereas in the latter case is the west that is guilty and shall be answerable. Sorry. My bad.
05:08 November 8, 2011 by N0DE
Of all the different nationalities, I think Iranians are worst. They hate Sweden even though they live here. Most of the criminals in Gothenburg and Malmo are Iranian descent. I know some asylum seekers from Iran who just manipulated facts and provided wrong information just to get nationality of Sweden.

Iranians themselves started this revolution and now acting as if some aliens forced them into dictatorship, why don't they go back to their own country and fight government by remaining inside , why do they want an easy money through Swedish social system. Bunch of shameless creatures they are
07:24 November 8, 2011 by Uncle
NODE

I am not sure about the criminal rates of iranians, since I think that they are way lower than those of less educated nations, but this sentence is spot ON:

"Iranians themselves started this revolution and now acting as if some aliens forced them into dictatorship"

Muslims strive towards islamic revolution, establishing sharia with all its wonderful bonuses and then run away from their own countries in millions, while having the nerve to blame the west in their misfortunes. THEN they are trying to implement sharia wherever they come, apparently forgetting what they ran away from . Circle of idiots.
07:39 November 8, 2011 by N0DE
@Uncle: Most of Goteborg immigrants are from Iran and I dare not say about crime rate in Goteborg! Half of rape cases in Sweden somehow hint on Iranian citizen involved in it.
08:10 November 8, 2011 by canuk
how the hell all of these irianians ended up here in sweden, on the other side of the world where the women are free from covering up their hair its like a virus or perhaps an infestation. This 'termporary citizenship' idea posed a few weeks ago should apply and be retroactive! send them back to the sand box, then we can see how happy they would be about committing crime here in this wondeful country!
08:21 November 8, 2011 by N0DE
@canuk! Spot on mate! Someone needs to send these Iranians back to Iran! They destroyed their own country when they brought revolution there now they are here to enjoy life on Swedish tax payers money
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