Summary: female Swedish diplomats were at the center of controversy over mandatory hijab rule in Iran
Source: Al Monitor
Writer: Rohollah Faghihi
The political engagement and business deals reached by Iran and Sweden during a recent official visit to Tehran were overshadowed by the attire, or lack thereof, of the female members of the Swedish delegation. Indeed, in the aftermath of the visit by the high-ranking Swedish political and business delegation, hard-liners raised a storm in the Iranian media by lashing out at the lack of observance of the Islamic hijab among Swedish women at a party where trade contracts were reportedly signed at the residence of the Swedish ambassador.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven arrived in Tehran on Feb. 10 and was officially received by President Hassan Rouhani at Saadabad Palace. On Feb. 11, Lofven met with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a rare invitation for a Western leader.
“You are known as a man of action and practical steps, and it is expected that you will act in such a way that agreements will not merely remain on paper,” Khamenei said to Lofven, referring to various agreements between Iran and some European governments “that haven’t been realized.” Iran and Sweden signed five memoranda of understanding involving technology, research, roads, information technology and women and family affairs during the Swedes’ visit.
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