Iran cancels meeting with European Parliament lawmakers


(JTA) — Iran canceled a visit by lawmakers from the European Parliament over the group’s request to meet with the Iranian winners of a European Union human rights prize.

Jewish and non-Jewish organizations have been urging the cancellation of the Oct. 27 visit for weeks.

The day before the scheduled visit, Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panah were named the winners of the Sakharov Prize, and the delegation reportedly wanted to give the activists their prizes in person. Both are in Iranian prisons.

Iran reportedly nixed the visit, designed according to the European Parliament to “build bridges” with Iran, after the parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, made the meetings a precondition of the trip.

Western nations say Iran is on the cusp of achieving a nuclear weapon; Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful. 

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