Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader, took to Twitter to condemn the Swedish government's handling of Quran burnings in the country: "The Swedish government should know that by supporting the criminal who burned the holy Quran, they have prepared themselves for war against the Muslim world. They have created feelings of hatred and hostility towards them in all Muslim countries and in many of their governments."
The Ayatollah warned that Sweden's support for the individual responsible for the Quran desecration could lead to hostility from the Muslim world and its governments. Iranian leaders see themselves as defenders of Islam, and the statement reflects their aggressive stance towards perceived religious offenses. The strained relationship between Sweden and Iran means that any consequences are likely to be symbolic rather than concrete, but there remains a security concern as Western targets may be seen as legitimate in the eyes of extremist groups.
DN has reached out to Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, who declined to comment on the Ayatollah's statement.