A duo of Iranian agents were arrested in Stockholm on suspicion of targeting Jews in the Swedish capital, local media Sverige Radio reported on Tuesday morning.
The two, linked to Iran’s military intelligence, were reportedly arrested back in April 2021.
The agents, identified as Mahdi Ramezani and Fereshteh Sanaeifarid, were allegedly planning the assassinations of three Swedish citizens, including Aron Verständig, the chairman of Sweden’s Jewish Central Council.
Though their preparations were foiled by local authorities in Stockholm, their attack plans remained private. Authorities did not find solid evidence, nor were they able to reach a definitive conclusion regarding these operatives’ intentions.
Assassination attempt turns to deportation
The couple was deported to Iran the next year, in 2022, after they were deemed a serious security threat to Sweden, according to Ekot news.
This was one of several attempts in recent years by Iran to attack Jews abroad as a move to strike Israel.The investigation raised concerns about state-sponsored terrorism from foreign entities on Swedish soil, Swedish media reported.
Richard Mühlrad, the president of the Jewish Community of Stockholm, told The Jerusalem Post that despite the threats of rising antisemitism and an attempted terror attack on his community, they still feel supported by Swedish authorities.
“Every day there is something new, we don’t want to panic. The information we have from the police and the government is that everything is okay. We have security outside of our synagogues and by the Jewish community’s houses. We believe everything is okay and don’t see any big threats, but because of the war right now, things are far more tense,” Mühlrad said.
“There were 1,000 Swedes who wanted to boycott Israel’s ability to participate in the Eurovision. We’ve seen that we have support from most of the government, but among citizens, we’re running into more and more who dislike Israel and the current situation. Israel receives more blame than Hamas in Sweden.”Mühlrad added that despite threats, Jewish life continues to thrive in Stockholm.