Iranian hardliners have criticized the foreign ministry for a meeting between the European Parliamentary delegation and Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, and Panahi, an Iranian filmmaker, were both jailed following the Iranian election protests of 2009.

Last year, the two also became recipients of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Human Rights award.

The head of Iran’s Court of Administrative Justice, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, has said: “These people [the European Parliamentary delegation] have met in secret with two seditious elements of the 2009 sedition. It has to be clarified who has facilitated this meeting?”

The Iranian establishment refers to the 2009 election protests against suspected vote fraud as sedition.

The visit has also been condemned by a number of MPs who have said the foreign minister needs to appear in Parliament to explain this incident.