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Swedish-Iranians In Stockholm Protest Zarif's Visit

A group of Iranians protest the presence of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Sweden. August 21, 2019

Hundreds of Iranians living in Sweden gathered in front of the country's parliament on Wednesday, August 21, to protest the Islamic Republic Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to the capital city Stockholm.

Some carrying Iran's pre-revolution official flag, they condemned the Swedish government for hosting Zarif, chanting against the Islamic Republic's top diplomat.

"Get lost, Zarif!" "Zarif is a murderer!", the enraged demonstrators chanted.

Protesters, a mix of the monarchists, republicans and Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), carried banners, reading, "Kick Javad Zarif out!', "Europe & Nordic countries are not a place for criminals & terrorists," "World peace, stability & democracy requires regime change in Iran."

The protests continued at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) where Zarif later delivered a speech.

The video in this tweet shows the reaction of the police to Iranian protesters.

Meanwhile, the Swedish police were widely criticized on social media for treating the protesters with an iron fist, using batons, and detaining more than twenty.

However, Zarif, who, for his part, used to be an ardent protester whenever the last king of Iran, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi visited the United States, managed to meet with a handful of Iranian business people in Stockholm.

Confronting repeated questions about the fate of an Iranian scientist, Ahmad Reza Djalali (Jalali), Zarif assured his hosts that President Hassan Rouhani's government "would do its best" to see if the death sentence on the Swedish-Iranian scientist can be delayed.

In the meantime, Zarif once again used his trade-mark excuse in such situations, asserting, "In Iran the judiciary is independent."

Without going into the details or disclosing names, he also claimed, "Today two members of the Iranian cabinet are being tried by our judiciary. That shows you how independent the judiciary is from our executive."

A Swedish resident of Iranian origin, Djalali is a medical doctor and researcher who has been in jail in Iran since 2916 on charges of "espionage" with a death sentence.

Ahmad Reza Jalali (Djalali) was arrested by Iranian intelligence while visiting Iran to attend a scientific conference at the invitation of the University of Tehran in May 2016.

The Swedish government in February 2018 granted citizenship to Djalali, hoping that it might convince the Islamic Republic authorities to review the death sentence against the incarcerated scientist.