Swedish FM slams Iran for travel ban on women's rights activist

Sweden's foreign minister criticized Iran on Thursday for barring a women's rights activist from traveling to Sweden to accept a human rights award. Iranian Parvin Ardalan was scheduled to receive the Olof Palme Prize in Stockholm on Thursday, but was stopped by authorities in her country from traveling to Sweden. "This is unfortunately only one in a row of examples that the respect for human rights in Iran continues to deteriorate," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said in a statement. "I have great admiration for Ms. Ardalan's commitment to promoting human rights in Iran." In an interview published in the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Ardalan said security guards at Tehran's airport ordered her off a Stockholm-bound plane on Sunday, citing a ban issued by an Iranian court. Her passport also was confiscated, she said.