Sweden’s Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador Isaac Bachman to a meeting
in Stockholm on Monday, seeking clarification about a report that Sweden was
trying to prevent further EU sanctions against Iran
because of economic
Sweden was concerned the sanctions would endanger a
lucrative deal between its mammoth communications company Ericsson and Iran, the
report said on Sunday.
A Foreign Ministry official said that
Bachman clarified that the report was based on an “unauthorized, anonymous
official,” and that it did not represent Israeli government policy.
Israeli official familiar with the matter said of the Swedish summons of the
ambassador that “things are never as painful as when they are
According to the report, pressure from inside the EU was placed on
the Swedish government over the past week to drop its opposition to the
ratcheted-up sanctions, with some of the pressure aimed directly at Foreign
Minister Carl Bildt.
According to Haaretz
, “Israeli diplomats said that
several European officials have wondered about any personal interests Bildt
might hold in Iran that could cause him to object to sanctions.”
after Bachman was called in, Bildt tweeted from the meeting of EU foreign
ministers in Luxembourg that there was “great concern among EU FM’s about
continued Israeli occupation and settlement activities as well as total
standstill in peace process.”
Some observers in Jerusalem wondered aloud
whether this tweet might – like the summons of Bachman – have been related to
Bildt’s anger over the newspaper report.