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Sweden summons Israeli envoy over Iran report

Sweden summons Israeli envoy over Iran report

Published: 15 Oct 2012 14:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Oct 2012 14:14 GMT+02:00

Sweden's foreign ministry said it had summoned Israel's ambassador on Monday after an Israeli official was quoted as saying Stockholm would oppose more EU sanctions on Iran to protect a business deal.

Israeli daily Haaretz said Sweden would try to prevent the European Union from imposing further sanctions against Tehran to protect a deal between telecom group Ericsson and mobile operator Irancell.

"The Swedes fear that other countries with problematic human rights records such as China will hear about the cancellation and worry about their ties with Ericsson," the newspaper quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official as saying.

A spokeswoman for Sweden's foreign ministry said the Israeli ambassador was due to meet with Swedish officials early Monday afternoon.

"(The meeting) is about the statements in the Israeli press, that are supposed to have come from the Israeli foreign ministry," she told AFP.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt branded the report "mudslinging" in an interview with news agency TT at Monday's meeting of the EU's foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

"This is not how I think mature nations should interact with each other and I will react quite sharply against Israel," he said.

Israel's ambassador to Stockholm voiced regret on Monday at an Israeli official's remark that Sweden would oppose stronger EU sanctions against Iran to protect a business deal, the Swedish government said following the meeting.

Ambassador Isaac Bachman "regrets what appeared" in the Israeli press, foreign ministry spokesman Anders Jörle told AFP after the envoy was summoned over the comments.

"Otherwise you could say the meeting was constructive," Jörle said, adding that the envoy had insisted the comments in Israel's Haaretz newspaper did not reflect Israel's "official position".

The EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed a slew of tough new financial and trade sanctions against Iran aimed at forcing a breakthrough in stalled talks on Tehran's contested nuclear programme.

The new package targets EU dealings with Iran's banks, shipping and gas imports.

The Israeli embassy in Sweden declined comment when contacted by AFP.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:34 October 15, 2012 by Iraniboy
I am expecting pro-Israeli anti-Swedish comments flourish here from posters who have never visited Sweden in their entire life!!! I'm just saying!
15:36 October 15, 2012 by skumdum
Since when was Israel a mature country.
16:25 October 15, 2012 by millionmileman
@skumdum

Having been in both countries I can atest that Israel is a vey mature country and ironically vey similar to Sweden with technological prowess and knowhow. They both have better economic growth than most other countries.

With Sweden's recalsitrance agaisnst Iranian santions the window of oportunity is fast closing making the possibility of war even more probable. That is real Swedish maturity!
17:04 October 15, 2012 by hadadgar
The sanctions effects are on normal people in Iran not on the regime! Although Iran has no nuclear bomb and Intelligence agencies of US confirmed that there is no plan to make it, but about Israel ...!
17:33 October 15, 2012 by intrepidfox
@iraniboy

The majority of the readers on this site live in Sweden so get your facts right.

It wouldn´t surprise me if Sweden blocked the sanctions. They made a fortune after their actions during and after the 2nd world war.
17:47 October 15, 2012 by Bleichroeder
Selling arms to Saudi (in secret) and now when Ericsson is being outed there is a problem? How about less hypocrisy?
21:05 October 15, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Iraniboy

Even I have never been in Sweden, I still can follow up the way Israel is treated in the Swedish Media,in our days of internet connections,TV through Satellite in real time we can see here in real time everything ,through CNN, BBc,FOX news ,the Italian RAI, the German ZDF ecc, I do talk and write English and German so we can here get the information in real time, the samewas with the story about the Israeli soldiers who steal organs from Palestinians.

It is a very long time that the Swedish government adopt a clear anti Israeli conduct, which unfortuntly is reflected by attacks on the innocent small Jewish community in Malmo even if the initial intention was to demonize Israel.
11:41 October 16, 2012 by indeedmagnifier
Sanctions against the Islamic Regime, and destructive role of Sweden!

Swedish alliance " the government" as well their foreign minister Carl Bildt never have been concerned about human rights in Iran, and if they say that they were concerned about Iranian people, it is a big f**king lie?!

The Swedish alliance since the first day of start have been just concerned to keep the Terrible Islamic regime happy of the Swedish Government performance.

The Islamic regime act as a big boss regarding to the Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and as well to the Swedish Government, they order what they want and the Swedish alliance obediently acknowledge and takes steps slavishly!

Unfortunately Sweden has taken an active role in the Europe Union to stop sanctions against the Iranian regimes!

an example of many, Swedish Government has afraid to get a loss if the contract between Ericsson Inc. and Iranian regime getting canceled, the contract that sold secretly sophisticated equipment to enhance the Islamic regime the ability to tap phones, read e-mails, monitor, trace and survey electronic data on communications networks in Iran. Consequently, many detained and some executed.
21:53 October 18, 2012 by ajs42548
I find it interesting that most countries would say things like, War should be a last resort. We should try sanctions first. OK, but when sanctions become too problematic for the country being sanctioned, those sanctions are eased up. The whole idea of sanctions is to make things impossible for the rogue country, not just annoying.
18:34 October 19, 2012 by motti
Iran is on record in threatening to wipe Israel off the map and to use it's nuclear capability. That many countries still want to trade with Iran is nothing unusual. After all, when we consider trade with these Islamic countries, we are not communicating exactly with modern thinking states, regardless of their wealth.

No doubt, if Sweden faced the same threats as Israel, she too, would be concerned. Or would she? At least, you can always take cover under the NATO umbrella today.

The other point is that freedom of the press is guaranted in Israel. Unloike the vast majority od countries in the world, editors are allowed to make both critical positive and negative comments, and to publish both sides of the debate with facts, not just opinions
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