OSLO, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Norway's Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg resigned his cabinet post Monday after a controversial trip to Iran last month. He also quit as vice president of the Progress Party.
Sandberg has been harshly criticized and accused of breaching internal rules since it became known that in July he was on a private holiday to Iran along with his new girlfriend, Norwegian-Iranian Bahareh Letnes, without reporting his destination in advance.
Sandberg briefed prime minister's office on the visit two days after arriving in Iran, newspaper Aftenposten reported.
He was also criticized for taking his government-issued mobile phone with him during the trip to Iran. Norwegian officials are not allowed to use service mobile phones in a country with which Norway does not have security cooperation.
"Per has himself asked to leave, and I think it was a right decision," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at the press conference Monday afternoon.
Sandberg said he did not regret that he went to Iran on vacation.
"But I have regretted that my assessment was completely wrong in terms of security, because I did not notify the prime minister's office about my trip and that I brought my phone. Everything else I see no reason to regret," he was quoted as saying.
Progress Party veteran Harald Tom Nesvik was appointed Minister of Fisheries in an extraordinary session of the Council of State on Monday.