President Sauli Niinistö met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the president’s official residence, Mäntyniemi, in Helsinki on May 31, 2016. Picture. Matti Porre/TPK

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (the Green League) called his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, expressing that Finland firmly condemns the attack and demanding an explanation as to why crisis management troops taking part in counter-terrorism were targeted.

The message was supported by President Sauli Niinistö who on Wednesday said in a statement that “Finland expects a full clarification from the Iranian authorities of their actions.”

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP) said on her first official visit in Sweden yesterday after a meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (the SDP) that any attacks against peacekeeping troops should be condemned. This was also Sweden’s viewpoint.

During the call, Minister Zarif reiterated Iran’s views and assured that Iran has no intention of escalating the situation any further.

Minister Haavisto said, “It was utterly unreasonable that Finnish and other international crisis management troops participating in the OIR operation (Operation Inherent Resolve) against ISIS in Iraq are now facing new threats from Iran’s missile attacks today.”

In addition to the telephone conversation, Minister Haavisto met the Iraqi Ambassador Matheel Al-Sabti and Ahmad Hosseini, chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Iran in Helsinki.

Iraq was requested to provide more details on the decision taken by its parliament last Sunday regarding international presence in Iraq, which will affect the continuation and safety of the OIR operation. OIR is being conducted in the country at the request of the Iraqi government.

On Wednesday evening, Minister Haavisto also intended to call the Iraqi foreign minister, Mohamed Ali Alhakim.

Tony Öhberg