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Iran claims Oriflame may be backed by spy agency

AFP · 25 Aug 2010, 15:37

Published: 25 Aug 2010 12:32 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Aug 2010 15:37 GMT+02:00

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Sweden's foreign ministry also questioned Iran's ambassador in Stockholm to about Oriflame's shutdown in Tehran and the arrests on Tuesday, ministry spokeswoman Cecilia Julin announced.

At the same time, ministry officials raised the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two sentenced to death by stoning by an Iranian court, when it called in ambassador Rasoul Eslami on Tuesday, Julin told AFP.

"We met him yesterday and we raised both the Oriflame affair and also the

question of Sakineh, the woman threatened with stoning," she said.

One of those detained in the Oriflame arrests, which were alleged conducted amid reported allegations in Iran, is a dual Swedish-Iranian national, Julin said.

She said the matter was being dealt with by Sweden's ambassador in Tehran, who "is in contact with the Iranian foreign ministry and other authorities."

Oriflame, a direct sales company, said on Monday it had received no explanations from Iranian authorities about the closure and arrests, but believed they may be linked to its business model.

"Our business model is to sell cosmetics and give 40,000 Iranians, mainly women, a possibility to earn money through direct sales," the company's chief financial officer Gabriel Bennet told AFP, adding any reference to a pyramid scheme was "ridiculous."

Meanwhile, Iran's ILNA news agency quoted Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi on Wednesday of accusing companies like Oriflame of being backed by spy agencies.

"These companies operate with outside support and are not engaged in economic activities. They are under the guidance of spy agencies," he said.

Oriflame did not immediately respond to requests for comments on the

Story continues below…


The case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, sentenced to death by stoning by an Iranian court, has been criticised by Western nations and human rights groups amid warnings that her execution is imminent.

Iranian officials maintain she was handed the stoning sentence for adultery and for being an accomplice in her husband's murder.

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Your comments about this article

09:26 August 26, 2010 by calebian22
Selling beauty products to women in a "progressive" country like Iran? That's an arrest'in!
12:42 August 26, 2010 by here for the summer
If Oraflame is both backed by a spy agency and is a pyramid scheme then maybe it is the other way around the pyramid scheme backs the spy agency. What a great idea start a direct selling beauty company to support your spy agency which is of course expensive needing all those high tech gadgets etc. If Sweden has figured this out then the CIA and the KGB can't be far behind.
03:43 August 29, 2010 by wenddiver
Luckily Sweden is part of the European Union , so the French Navy will be coming to her aid and stop this bullying.

No doubt Russia, Communist China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea and the Palestinian State will propose UN sanctions against Iran for pushing Sweden around. Those far left connections will come in real handy when dealing with their fellow crazies, to bad they see you as a Eurpean Democracy and enjoy your discomfort.

We don't have an Embassy in Iran, but have had a lot of luck communicating our displeasure with the Iranian Regime by large US Naval Task Force.
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