One day after a delegation of the European Parliament requested a chance to visit jailed Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and dissident filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who both recently won the Sakharov Prize, the Islamic Republic announced that the delegation’s trip has been cancelled.
The Mehr News Agency reports that Hossein Sheikoleslam, the Iranian Parliament’s international advisor, announced on Saturday that Iran will accept no preconditions for such a trip: “The European parliamentary delegation intended to visit two Iranian political prisoners and give them awards, but Iran did not agree with such a condition because it is against out policy.”
Mehr reports that since Iran refused to accept the precondition set by the European delegation, the whole trip has been cancelled.
The European said in a statement today: "The Iranian authorities have refused to give permission to a delegation of five MEPs set to travel to Tehran to meet with this year's Sakharov Prize winners Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi, after which the delegation cancelled the visit."
Martin Shulz, the head of European Parliament, said on October 26 that the parliamentary delegation set to travel to Iran had requested a visit with Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi, in order to offer congratulations for their receiving the Sakharov human rights award.
He added that the parliamentary delegation intended to deliver his congratulations to Sotoudeh and Panahi, and if the authorities were to forbid such a meeting, the delegation’s visit would immediately end.
The European delegation was scheduled to arrive in Tehran on Sunday October 28 for a five-day visit.