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public debate over the word "dictatorship"

Iran picks up on Enström's Saudi comment

Published tisdag 14 augusti 2012 kl 17.30
Defence minister Karin Enström. Photo: Maja Suslin/Scanpix.

On Monday, Sweden's defence minister Karin Enström caused a stir when she was reluctant to call the Saudi Arabian regime a dictatorship. Enström eventually rephrased her comments. Now Iran's state media company Press TV have published headlines reading "Sweden's defence minister describes the kingdom as a dictatorship", reports news agency TT.

Iran, a largely Shiite Muslim country, has long had tense relations with the mainly Sunni Saudi Arabia. The press in Iran has not reported on the fact that the initial commotion in Sweden was over Enström's reluctance to call Saudi Arabia a dictatorship, but has only reported on the words used in her rephrased statement.

After public outrage over Sweden's arms deals with Saudi Arabia, Enström was criticised here in Sweden for not calling the regime a dictatorship. Her avoidance of the term has led to criticism from the human rights group Civil Rights Defenders, and eventually the minister was forced to rephrase her comments.

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