Iran suspected in plot to kill Swedish Jews – report

Iranian couple posing as Afghani immigrants and reportedly working for IRGC were never charged but were reportedly deported in 2022

Officers stand near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)
Officers stand near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)

STOCKHOLM — Swedish radio reported Tuesday that an Iranian couple, believed to be working for Iranian intelligence, were deported after being suspected in a plot to kill Swedish Jews.

According to an investigative report by Swedish Radio (SR), the couple, Mahdi Ramezani and Fereshteh Sanaeifarid, had applied for and been granted asylum in Sweden posing as Afghans.

Suspected of plotting to kill Swedish Jews, the couple were arrested in April 2021 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a terrorist crime, SR reported.

Due to a lack of evidence, the two were never charged but they were reportedly deported in 2022 for posing a security risk.

“We have strong belief that they were here on a mission on behalf of Iran. They were seen here in Sweden as a very severe security threat. And that’s the reason why they were expelled, even if we couldn’t prosecute them,” deputy chief prosecutor Hans Ihrman told the broadcaster.

While the investigation was classified, SR cited sources saying that the two were working on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC.

The couple of alleged agents reportedly identified three different targets, gathering addresses and photographs.

One of the suspected targets was believed to be Aron Verstandig, chair of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish communities, who told SR that he had received a call from the Swedish Security Service in 2021, informing him that he was believed to be a target.

“They basically told me that you have been named as one of the targets of a possible terror crime that involves murder,” Verstandig said.

According to SR, the Iranian couple denies the allegations.

Israel accuses Iran of attempting to develop nuclear arms and seeks to counter the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East.

Tehran in turn accuses Israel of being behind a series of sabotages and assassinations targeting its nuclear program.

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