Iraq Expels Swedish Ambassador, Withdraws Charge d’Affaires from Stockholm

Update (0826 EST): Iraqi pro-militia outlet Sabereen has announced that the names and addresses of Swedish companies operating in Iraq will be published and targeted by Shia groups. The Iraqi government has already suspended the license for Swedish company Ericsson to operate in Iraqi territory. The Iraqi Media and Communications Commissions may opt to suspend more licenses such as Volvo from operating in the country as relations continue to sour.  However, in a positive note, Iraqi militant groups did call to exert restraint in targeting workers of the Swedish Red Crescent which operates in Mansour, Iraq.

As this publication reported yesterday, Iraqi-militia groups stormed the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad for the second time in a week and set it ablaze. Rioters entered the embassy grounds and breached several office spaces, looting computers and documents while also starting a large conflagration.

While the Iraqi government stated this morning at around 0720 EST that it was committed to ensuring security of all diplomatic missions, it would sever diplomatic relations with Sweden if it continued to approve public Quran burnings. The Iraqi government also announced that it had arrested at least 20 people in connection to the break in last night.

The office of the Prime Minister of Iraq made this announcement:

Shortly after this announcement , Al Iraqiya reported that the Iraqi Prime Minister had dismissed the Swedish ambassador Jessica Svärdström, who has been serving in that role since 2022. Tensions between Baghdad and Stockholm soared after last night’s events. The Swedish government made this announcement:

“Iraqi authorities have an unequivocal obligation to protect diplomatic missions and diplomatic personnel under the Vienna Convention. It is clear that the Iraqi authorities have seriously failed in this responsibility.

The government is in contact with high-level Iraqi representatives to express our dismay. Iraq’s chargé d’affaires in Stockholm will be summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the same purpose.

The staff at the Swedish embassy fortunately managed to get to safety. The government is now reviewing what further measures need to be taken due to what happened.”

These announcements and assuredly heated back-door conversations probably resulted in the dismissal of the ambassador, as well as the burning of the Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, a demonstration that Sadrist leader Muqtada al-Sadr said is a declaration of hostility.

 

At 0753, Al-Araby announced that the Iraqi government had withdrawn its Charge d’Affaires from Stockholm, signaling Iraqi promises to sever diplomatic ties would be fulfilled, most likely due to the demonstrations in front of the Iraqi Embassy.

Ashab al-Kahf also threatened to target Swedish assets in Iraq in retaliation.

This is developing.

 

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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