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Norwegian minister quits after private trips to Iran, China

In this photo taken on Aug. 10, 2018, Norwegian Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg walks with his girlfriend Bahareh Letnes in Mandal, Norway. (Espen Sand/ NTB scanpix via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Norway's fishery minister has stepped down after harsh criticism for not informing the government of his private trips abroad to Iran and China.

    Per Sandberg, 58, gave no reasons why he failed to tell his bosses about the trips in advance -- a summer holiday in July to Iran with his Iranian-born girlfriend and a trip to China in May. In Norway, government members are required to report before going to another country on private trips.

    After returning from Iran, his work phone was given to Norway's domestic intelligence service to make sure it was not hacked. The PST agency considers Iran "a high risk country" when it comes to electronic surveillance.

    He was replaced in the fisheries post Monday by Harald Tom Nesvik.

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