Iran Delays Sending Ambassador to Sweden to Protest Quran Incident

Iran will refrain from sending a new ambassador to Sweden in protest over the burning of a Koran outside a mosque in Stockholm, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Sunday.

A man tore up and burned a Quran outside Stockholm’s central mosque Wednesday, the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holidays.

Swedish police charged the man who burned the holy book with agitation against an ethnic or national group. In a newspaper interview, he described himself as an Iraqi refugee seeking to ban it.

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned Sweden’s charge d’affaires Thursday to condemn what it said was an insult to the most sacred Islamic sanctities.

“Although administrative procedures to appoint a new ambassador to Sweden have ended, the process of dispatching them has been held off due to the Swedish government’s issuing of a permit to desecrate the Holy Quran,” Amirabdollahian said Sunday on Twitter.

He did not specify how long Iran would refrain from sending an ambassador to Sweden.

While Swedish police have rejected several recent applications for anti-Quran demonstrations, courts have overruled those decisions, saying they infringed freedom of speech.

In its permit for Wednesday’s demonstration, Swedish police said that while it “may have foreign policy consequences,” the security risks and consequences linked to a Quran burning were not of such a nature that the application should be rejected.