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16 September 2021
When “Fifth Pillar” Agents of the Islamic Republic Embassy in Sweden are exposed

“Is the golden age for Iranian spies in Sweden waning?”

2012 June 14

This Article is sent by the author and Radio Koocheh has not taken any responsibility of the contents.

Barmak Behdad  / Freelance Journalist

Two articles seen on Sunday May 27th in Dagns nyheter have exposed the continued practice of deception and misinformation by the Islamic Republic embassy in Sweden.

A series of articles report spying efforts of the Islamic Republic’s “fifth pillar” through its embassies in 15 to 20 countries. The special report on espionage in Sweden is worthy of note. According  to  Mattiass Carelsson, an unknown person named Ali has contacted a private Swedish detective agency to monitor and follow a female graduate student from Iran. Swedish government security advisors and investigators state that the intelligence activities are directly guided by intelligence networks in Tehran.

The embassy’s ludicrous, rapid response is revealing. Indeed, what can the letter to the Dagns nyheter Editor-in-Chief denying the allegations possibly mean? The past two decades are witness to several murders of Iranian and Kurdish political activists led by the Islamic Republic embassy in Swedem. The tragic murders of Effat Ghazi and Kamran Hedayeti during the 90’s, and Gholam Keshawarz and Professor Khalil Aalinejad in 2001, are still fresh in the minds of Swedish Iranians.

Even so, and despite unequivocal revelations by this brave Swedish journalist, the Iranian Embassy has continued with its characteristic denial that it monitors and takes actions against activists abroad, even has the gall to make its own demands.

From a quick glance of the Swedish press in the past 2 decades we find that a number of newspapers and journals have reported widespread activity of Islamic Republic intelligence agents abroad, such as Metro (morning),  Svesnka  Dagbladet,  Afton Bladet,  Idag, Ny heterna, and Proltern. Metro (morning)’s efforts are the most extensive.

Yet one does not observe clear, determinative responses from the Swedish government. Wherever attention has been given to the matter it has been due to the tenacity and courage of journalists such as the above. A good example is a professionally written article by Swedish reporter Nuri Kino. Another case in December 2006 caused Iranian Ambassador Hassan Ghashghavi in his interview with Metro (morning) to demand an apology from the Swedish government.

There is no reason or motivation for the Swedish Monarchy to turn a blind eye to the issue for two decades other than extensive economic relations it has with the Iranian government. According to the newspaper Svenska Dagbaldet in 2010, Swedish security reported 800 cases of spying against refugees in its annual report, some cases of which saw perpetrators caught, and prevented entry to Sweden.

What is different about the latest article is that for the first time a senior officer of Swedish security from Säpo, Wilhelm Aungeh, has reported so unequivocally both extensive espionage activity and the Islamic Republic embassy’s playing a part in it.

Will these new articles usher a new era of altered political relations between the Swedish and Iranian governments? An era where relations are founded on the human rights records of governments and adherence to democratic principles rather than mainly commercial and economic benefits?

Is it not time for the Swedish government to end its “critical dialogue” approach? Despite the fact that a number of other European countries have given up on dialogue with Iran for several years.

From observing developments in Iran, the Middle East, and worldwide, it seems that the luck of the Islamic Republic in its fifth pillar activities is running out.

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