On October 22, 2022, I published a debate article on Svenska Dagbladet’s (SVD) website , which also was published in its newspaper. The title of the debate article was “Close Iran’s embassy in Stockholm”. The preamble read as follows:
The Iranian embassies around the world conduct serious crimes in the form of espionage and terrorism. Therefore, Sweden should close Iran’s embassy, writes Ardavan Khoshnood.https://www.svd.se/a/4ooKrV/stang-irans-ambassad-i-stockholm-skriver-ardavan-khoshnood
In the debate article, I state, among other things, the following:
It has thus been established that the Iranian embassies around the world, including in Sweden, conduct serious crimes in the form of espionage and terrorism. It has happened on several occasions that Sweden has expelled diplomats at the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Stockholm. The new government and not least Foreign Minister Tobias Billström must therefore act against the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Sweden.https://www.svd.se/a/4ooKrV/stang-irans-ambassad-i-stockholm-skriver-ardavan-khoshnood
It has now come to my attention that the Islamic Republic of Iran, via its embassy in Stockholm, reported my article and SVD to the Media Ombudsman (MO). For those who are interested, the dnr is 22526 and the exp. no. is 25/2023. MO’s decision in Swedish can be read here .
This is what MO writes about the report itself:
The complainant, via a representative, directed sharp criticism at the debate article and the information in it. Arguments were made that the information in the published article was false, offensive and that the article contravened the Freedom of the Press Act, the Publicity Rules, the Professional Ethics Rules and that the complainant had been exposed to unjustifiable publicity damage.
Furthermore, the complainant stated that several Iranians in Sweden felt offended and hurt by the defamation in the article, and that they turned to the Iranian embassy in Stockholm for measures.
No individual, state or nation should have to endure such serious allegations of criminal acts such as espionage and terrorism, which the article writer, completely baseless, put forward with lying “evidence”.
The complainant believed that the article should be criticized.https://medieombudsmannen.se/beslut/svenska-dagbladet-frias-for-debattartikel-om-irans-ambassad-i-sverige/
MO writes off the case and states:
It must be considered everyone’s right to present criticism, even harsh criticism, of a state and its representation via embassies in a debate article. MO does not determine whether the article author’s claims are correct or not.
Anyone who is critical of the content of such a debate article can turn to the newspaper with the desire to respond to the criticism. It is then up to the newspaper’s responsible publisher to decide whether a response should be published or not. There is no general right of reply regarding states. A state has other means to respond to criticism, for example via its own platforms.https://medieombudsmannen.se/beslut/svenska-dagbladet-frias-for-debattartikel-om-irans-ambassad-i-sverige/
The Islamic Republic of Iran did not accept the decision of the MO and via its embassy appealed to the Media Ethics Committee, which states the following:
The Media Ethics Committee shares MO’s assessment that there is no reason to direct media ethics criticism at Svenska Dagbladet.https://medieombudsmannen.se/beslut/svenska-dagbladet-frias-for-debattartikel-om-irans-ambassad-i-sverige/
The regime in Iran uses slander and lies to attack its opponents. They try to eliminate their opponents through threats and terror. And now, they are trying to intimidate critical voices into silence via legal means. Their desperation is increasing!