Swedish FM says confronted Iran counterpart over murder plot against Jews

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Sweden’s foreign minister said Thursday he had confronted his Iranian counterpart after reports Tehran’s intelligence service sent an undercover couple to murder Jews in the country.

Last week, Swedish Radio (SR), reported that a couple, Mahdi Ramezani and Fereshteh Sanaeifarid, had been suspected of planning to kill Jewish representatives in Sweden in 2021.

They arrived in Sweden posing as Afghan refugees in 2017, said the report.

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“It is of course something extremely negative that a country is pursuing murder plots on our territory,” Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom told the broadcaster.

The couple were arrested in April 2021 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a terrorist crime, SR reported.

Due to a lack of evidence, they were never charged but were deported in 2022 for posing a security risk. According to SR, the Iranian couple denied the allegations.

“That Iranian agents on Swedish soil have plotted murders of Swedish citizens -- and that these citizens are also of Jewish background -- is of course something we take very seriously,” Billstrom said.

“I made this clear to my Iranian colleague, how we look at this and also of course how it affects the relationship between our countries,” he added.

Billstrom said he would raise the issue with his counterparts in the EU.

“This is a matter of general interest in the EU ... and it may be beneficial for cooperation between EU member states to exchange ideas on this,” he told SR.

While the investigation into the couple is classified, SR cited sources saying that the two were working on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The alleged agents had reportedly identified three different targets, gathering addresses and photographs.

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