Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Saturday that people who desecrate the Quran should face the "most severe punishment" and said that Sweden has "gone into battle-array for war on the Muslim world" by supporting those responsible, Reuters reported.

"All Islamic scholars agree that those who desecrate the Quran deserved the most severe punishment... The duty of that (Swedish) government is to hand over the perpetrator to the judicial systems of Islamic countries," Khamenei said in a statement carried by state media.

"The Swedish government should know that by supporting the criminal who burnt the Holy Quran it has gone into battle-array for war on the Muslim world," the Supreme Leader later tweeted.

"They have created feelings of hatred & animosity toward them in all the Muslim nations & many of their governments," he added.

His comments follow the recent burning of a Quran in Stockholm by an Iraqi citizen living in Sweden, which caused an uproar in the Muslim world.

Late last week, Swedish authorities approved a second Quran burning by the same man who caused an uproar after burning the book earlier this month.

Iran, which has delayed the posting of a new ambassador to Sweden, also said it was not accepting a new Swedish envoy.

A Swedish government representative was not immediately available for comment.

Sweden's government had condemned the first Quran burning and called it an "Islamophobic" act.

Last week, a 32-year-old Swedish national planned to burn a Jewish Bible outside the Israeli embassy in Sweden, but ultimately did not, saying the real reason for the protest was to draw attention to the difference between freedom of speech and offending other ethnic groups.