Iraq, Sweden Share +$76 million "Uneven" Trade Volume As Tension Rises Following Quran Desecration

Iraq, Sweden Share +$76 million  "Uneven" Trade Volume As Tension Rises Following Quran Desecration

Shafaq News/ Iraq and Sweden share a robust but lopsided $76.118 million trade relationship, data by Trade Map showed on Sunday amid heightened tension between the two countries following the Swedish authorities' approval of a Quran-burning protest in Stockholm earlier this month.

The figures illustrate an asymmetrical balance of trade heavily skewed in Sweden's favor, with a massive export value of $75.756 million, dwarfing Iraq's comparatively modest export total of $362,000. This vast discrepancy puts Iraq's export proportion at a mere 0.5% of the total trade volume.

Sweden's top exports to Iraq are pharmaceutical products, standing tall at an overwhelming $23.294 million. Not far behind, miscellaneous chemical products clock in at a significant $19.02 million. Mechanical machinery and equipment also contribute an additional $7.327 million to the total.

On the other side, grains and other agricultural products ($109 thousand) sit at the top of Iraq's export list.

Yesterday, the Swedish embassy in Iraq is temporarily moving operations to Stockholm, the country's foreign ministry has said, a day after it was attacked in protest against a second event held to desecrate the Quran in Sweden.

Hundreds of Iraqis, mainly followers of the populist Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, stormed the embassy in central Baghdad early on Thursday and set it on fire. The Iraqi government later expelled the Swedish ambassador.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said that the storming of the embassy was "completely unacceptable" and that the government strongly rejected desecrations of the Quran or any other holy scripture.

A demonstration was held on Thursday in Stockholm where provocateurs kicked and partially damaged a book they said was the Quran. The protesters did not burn the book as they had initially threatened to do.

The event in Stockholm was planned by Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Christian Iraqi refugee in Sweden, who also burned pages of a Quran on June 28, the earlier incident prompting mass protests in Iraq and condemnations from Muslim-majority countries.

Reactions from the Middle East poured in on Friday, while Western countries condemned the storming of the Swedish embassy in Iraq.

Protests took place in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon to denounce Sweden's permission for the desecration of the Quran.

In Baghdad, dozens of people, carrying copies of the Muslim holy book and portraits of Shiite cleric al-Sadr, took the streets to protest the "provocative" act and demand cutting political and commercial ties with Stockholm.

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