Sweden has finally decided to toughen its policy on asylum-seekers.
After you recover your dentures from your lap, please note the details of the case: the victims of Sweden’s newfound callousness are Iranian asylum-seekers, young people who are suffering under the current wave of violent government repression.
Indigent and criminal Somalis and Iraqis are presumably still being off-loaded in Gothenburg and Malmö, but Iranian protesters need not apply.
According to the EU Observer, the entire EU is balking, but Sweden is the only European country specifically mentioned as having cold feet about oppressed Iranians. Italy, for example, is being quite forthright in its outreach to the protesters:
EU Embassies Wary of Hosting Iranian Protesters
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS — Italy said Sunday (21 June) it had instructed its embassy in Tehran to provide humanitarian aid to wounded protesters, pending a co-ordinated response from all EU countries. But Sweden — which is about to take over the EU presidency — said it cannot grant asylum to refugees.
Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini said he would discuss a European Union-wide proposal to co-ordinate assistance for wounded demonstrators during a meeting in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the country — Iran’s leading trading partner in the EU — has instructed its embassy to help out “where there is a request or need for help from injured demonstrators,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. [emphasis added]
Now the motivation becomes clear: it’s all about the benjamins. In this particular case, traditional Swedish high-mindedness has been forced to take a back seat to economic self-interest.
Other European countries are displaying varying degrees of support for the Iranian uprising:
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the attitude of Iranian authorities was “inexcusable,” and highlighted the government’s “pariah” status. Tehran, already isolated due to its nuclear ambitions, is now “depriving its people of their most basic democratic rights,” he said.
Earlier on, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a full vote recount. “Germany stands by the people in Iran who want to exercise their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,” she said. A new analysis of voting figures by independent British think tank Chatham House found “irregularities” in the turnout and “highly implausible” swings to Ahmadinejad.
British foreign secretary David Miliband warned the death toll “will raise the level of concern among Iranians and around the world,” while US president Barack Obama toughened his stance, calling on Tehran to stop “violent and unjust actions against its own people.”
As of today, Barack Hussein Obama finally emerged from his cone of silence and condemned — in mush-mouth fashion — the mullahs’ violent crackdown on the protesters:
Dramatically hardening the U.S. reaction to Iran’s disputed elections and bloody aftermath, President Barack Obama condemned the violence against protesters Tuesday and lent his strongest support yet to their accusations the hardline victory was a fraud.
“We don’t know yet how this thing is going to play out,” the president said. “It is not too late for the Iranian government to recognize that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity for the Iranian people. We hope they take it.”
How’s that for taking a hard line?
For speaking truth to power?
For being willing to bear any burden and pay any price?
Not only that, the Messiah waited until after Finland — Finland! — condemned the Iranian government before finally swinging into action.
He’s definitely a man of initiative, decisiveness, and steely-eyed resolve.
Hat tip: islam o’phobe.