Norway\u2019s rightwing fisheries minister has resigned after breaching security protocol when he went on holiday to\u00a0Iran\u00a0with an Iranian-born former beauty queen.\r\nPer Sandberg, the deputy head of the anti-immigration Progress party, which is part of the ruling coalition, admitted he had travelled to Iran in July with his new girlfriend Bahareh Letnes, 28, without informing the prime minister\u2019s office in advance.\r\nThe 58-year-old Sandberg also admitted taking his work phone with him. Norway\u2019s intelligence agency regularly lists Iran as one of the countries most likely to carry out espionage, alongside China and Russia.\r\n\u201cPer himself asked to step down and I think it was the right decision,\u201d said the Conservative prime minister, Erna Solberg. \u201cHe didn\u2019t show the necessary common sense when it comes to handling security issues.\u201d\r\nThe story has been making headlines in\u00a0Norway, fuelling criticism from members of the opposition and Sandberg\u2019s own party, which is in a coalition with the Conservatives and the Liberals.\r\nLetnes\u2019s asylum request was rejected three times in Norway and she was expelled, but she eventually obtained a residency permit on the grounds that she risked being subjected to a forced marriage in Iran.\r\nThe Progress party favours a strict immigration policy, calling for asylum seekers whose applications are rejected to be expelled swiftly. It is also highly critical of foreigners who return to their native country after receiving asylum in Norway.\r\nSandberg originally issued an apology in an attempt to quell the criticism, but with new details emerging daily, he ultimately decided to resign. Among other things, it emerged he had also broken security protocol in May when he took his work phone to China.\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s sad,\u201d he told reporters. \u201cI had hoped to finish up a few projects.\u201d\r\nNorwegian intelligence services have opened an investigation into Letnes, who denies any ties to the Iranian regime.\r\nSandberg will be replaced as fisheries minister by Harald Tom Nesvik, another Progress politician. Sandberg has also stepped down as deputy head of Progress.