MESOP INSIDER : SWEDISH LEFT & PRO FEMINIST SOCIALDEMOCRACY PRO IRAN – Supreme Leader Uses Swedish Visit to Press Line on Syria & Iraq

February 12 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview –  Iran’s Supreme Leader has used a meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister to accuse the US and European allies of fomenting conflict in the Middle East.

Ayatollah Khamenei told Stefan Lofven on Saturday, “The US and many European powers have played a role in the creation of bitter events in Syria and Iraq and the regional nations, well aware of such meddling, truly hold a negative view of them.”

Khamenei repeated Iran’s line — as it provides essential political and military support to Syria’s President Assad and maneuvers against both the Islamic State and Western intervention in the Iraq conflict — that regional issues should be solved by countries in the region. He said Syria’s six-year conflict can be solved “but it requires an end to support for terrorism and warmongering”. He blamed “the presence of some Western countries’ representatives in opposition groups” and provision of weapons for the crisis.

The Supreme Leader pressed for a revival of political and economic links with Sweden, saying “the current level of mutual relations is far below the two countries’ capacities” He added that Friday’s marches for the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution showed the readiness for improvement, with “analysts who are making judgments about Iran from outside…unable to understand such grandeur”.

In his discussion with Lofven, President Hassan Rouhani also claimed Iran’s desire to promote stability across the Middle East: “We attach great importance to the security of our neighbors and that’s why we have rushed to help countries that have asked for Iran’s assistance in the fight against terrorism.” He continued, “The acts and behavior of the Zionist regime are among the main root causes of insecurity and tension in the region.”

However, Rouhani’s priority for economic recovery — and Sweden’s for possible revival of trade and investment — was seen in the economic and business representatives in Lofven’s delegation. The two sides signed document in the areas of innovation and technology, higher education and research, road construction, communication and information technology, and family and women’s affairs.

At a trade meeting with high-ranking Swedish officials, the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce focused on Tehran’s difficulties in the restoration of financial and banking channels after the July 2015 nuclear agreement, amid the continuation of some US restrictions.

“At present, improving banking cooperation between the two countries and removing hurdles in financial and banking matters are necessary and vital to develop economic and trade ties,” Gholamhossein Shafiei said. Rouhani told the Swedish Prime Minister that the European Union should build its banking relations with Iran.Shafiei also spoke of the potential of bilateral cooperation in sectors such as infrastructure, auto manufacturing, energy, environment, food and agriculture, and mining.