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Sweden has thwarted Iranian attack plots, counterintelligence police say

A senior member of the Swedish security police said on February 8 that Iran has planned attacks on the country, days after local media reported that two Iranians were deported for a plot to kill three Swedish Jews several years ago.

Earlier this week, Swedish broadcast SR reported that two Iranians had been suspected of planning to kill members of the Swedish Jewish community. They were arrested in 2021 and were expelled from Sweden in 2022 without charges, according to Swedish radio.

Daniel Stenling, counterespionage head at Sweden’s domestic security agency, told SR on Thursday that Iran “has been preparing and conducted activities aimed at carrying out a so-called physical attack against someone or something in Sweden.”

He added, “we have worked on a number of such cases where we have, as we gauge it, thwarted such preparations.” He declined to give specifics.

The two deported Iranians sought asylum in the Scandinavian country in 2015, claiming to be Afghans, and eventually got shelter in Sweden, according to SR. The report identified them as Mahdi Ramezani and Fereshteh Sanaeifarid, and said they have links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

A Swedish prosecutor earlier confirmed to The Associated Press that the two, a man and woman, were suspected of planning to carry out an attack “deemed to be terror” and that they have been expelled from Sweden. Prosecutor Hans Ihrman did not say when.

Mr. Ihrman told the AP that the prosecution “failed to get the necessary evidence that had been a prerequisite to be able to bring charges.” He also declined to give further details.

SR said the Iranians arrived in Sweden in 2015 as hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers sought to Europe. Sweden, with a population of 10 million, took in a record 163,000 migrants in 2015 — the highest per capita of any European country.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Wednesday the report was “very serious.”

“We have had too many people in Sweden entering on the wrong grounds and who were not stopped at the border,” Mr. Kristersson said. “It is extremely important that dangerous people are stopped if they try to enter.”

The security agency earlier has said that Iran was active in Sweden and has been described as one of the countries that pose the greatest intelligence threat to Sweden.

“But I can’t go into detail about what it’s about, because then I’d reveal what we’re doing,” Mr. Stenling told SR.

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