On February 11, I tweeted a photo of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meeting Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in the Sa'dabad Palace in Tehran (adopted from the President's official website). I commented that it was the first official visit by a Swedish PM to Iran. Shortly afterwards, I received a couple of unfriendly messages from some journalists, including the representative of an international broadcaster, saying that Prime Minister Olof Palme had visited Iran in 1980 and 1981. Even one of them made a public accusation, which wasn't really promising. It's true that Mr Palme had visited Iran on a couple of occasions; however, it was in his capacity as the UN mediator in the Iran-Iraq War. Palme had served two terms as Prime Minister: October 1969 to October 1976 and October 1982 to February 1986, separated by a hiatus of six years. It means he travelled to Iran while he was not in office.
Earlier today, I got a confirmation from the Prime Minister's Press Office that it was the first official visit paid by a Swedish head of government to Tehran since 1979, contrary to what some broadcasters had claimed.
After exchanging several calls and emails with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and Prime Minister's Office, it was confirmed on the phone by a spokesperson who didn't want to be named, that my tweet carried accurate information. The spokesperson, speaking to me on condition of anonymity, was happy with his statement to be made public. With this assurance, we're able to preclude the further publication of unreliable, non-authentic information about this meeting.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani was criticised by The Guardian for his 'all-male delegation' receiving Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his visiting colleagues, mostly female politicians, in Tehran. The report was published yesterday.