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European Parliament members postpone Iran trip

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THE HAGUE (JTA) — A planned visit to Iran by several European Parliament members was canceled amid protests that it would undermine efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program and human rights violations.

The Europeans said the trip was postponed due to scheduling problems.

"The visit of the Bureau of the Delegation for Relations with Iran of the European Parliament to Iran on 2-6 May has been postponed as it has proved impossible for the Majlis to receive the delegation … on the dates proposed,” read a statement published Thursday on the website of delegation member Tarja Cronberg, who is a member of the European Parliament from Finland’s Green party. Alternatives dates are being sought, she said.

The American Jewish Committee was among the groups that had criticized the planned trip. “By letting the regime effectively dictate who they can and cannot meet, the European delegation visit will be nothing more than a propaganda tool for Tehran,” Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, said in statement before the postponement was announced.

In a statement afterward, Schwammenthal welcomed the move.

“This trip should never have been considered in the first place," he said. "It is time for this charade to end. The European Parliament should send a very strong message to the Iranians that they will not engage in relations until Iran respects the human and democratic rights of its people. Anything less is unacceptable.”

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