How likely is it that Iran hands over Swedish gang leader Rawa Majid?

TT/The Local
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How likely is it that Iran hands over Swedish gang leader Rawa Majid?
Rouzbeh Parsi from the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. File photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Reports that Swedish gang leader Rawa Majid, also known as the Kurdish Fox, has been captured in Iran, have yet to be confirmed. If they are true, however, it's by no means certain that he will be handed over to Sweden.


According to public broadcaster SVT, Rawa Majid, the leader of the Foxtrot gang, which is behind Sweden's most recent wave of gang violence, was arrested after showing fake ID at the Iranian border during a routine check.

"There are many ifs and buts when it comes to the way Iran will react to this," head of the Middle East and North Africa programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Rouzbeh Parsi, told TT newswire.

"There are two chief possibilities," Parsi explained. "The first one is that they suspect he is trying to enter the country in order to carry out some sort of criminal activity. In that case, they might hold on to him until they've figured that out."

"The second alternative is that they just see him as someone who's trying to escape from something and is attempting to enter the country illegally. In that case, the logical thing to do, as in many other countries, would be to send him back to wherever he came from, which in this case is probably Turkey."

Parsi believes the most probable outcome is that Majid is sent back to Turkey, as he holds Turkish citizenship.

"Unless Sweden says they want him. But as we don't have an extradition treaty with Iran, as far as I know, it's not that simple."

Parsi is not convinced that Iran is aware of who Majid is.

"It's hard to be sure, but I suspect they're not completely aware. It's possible that if they search for him, something will pop up, and in that case the question is whether they think this is a card they can use against Sweden or if they should send him back to Turkey," he said.


Iran's reaction in this situation also depends on how much Sweden wants Majid to be handed over.

"In that case, it would be more interesting for him."

"He's interesting for them if it gives them political leverage over Sweden, but he's not interesting for them otherwise. In that case, you'd need to look at whether there's a track record with Iran when it comes to normal criminal cases and whether there's any kind of cooperation there."

If that's the case, Majid could potentially be handed over to Sweden "straight away", as long as Turkey doesn't want him, Parsi said.

"If there's no track record then there's a risk that this gets stuck in the complicated relationship the two countries have with each other."


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