Protests Against Iranian Foreign Minister
Visitng Stockholm on Monday, Iran’s foreign minister said his country will not freeze uranium enrichment to reach a truce with the United Nations over its nuclear program.
Manouchehr Mottaki insisted Iran has a legal right to pursue nuclear technology and would spurn a Swiss initiative that calls for a simultaneous freeze of Iranian atomic activities in exchange for a commitment not to impose new U.N. sanctions.
Mottaki told reporters in the Swedish capital that while Iran could agree to some parts of the proposal, ”the red line is suspension,” adding that ”we are having our legal enrichment, and suspension is not on our agenda”.
While in Stockholm the Iranian Foreign Minister also met with Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.
The visit angered some exiled Iranians who accused Tehran of human rights violations and said Sweden should break off diplomatic relations.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who was not scheduled to meet Mottaki, said he understood that the Iranian minister’s visit stirred emotions. Reinfeldt said he however still had to ”defend having contact with countries and regimes that may not share our values,” adding ”how can we ever understand or influence each other if we don’t meet?”