The announcing of an EU delegation to Iran was received with mixed feelings among activists and politicians alike. While any sign of cooperation and communication may be a positive sign and a beacon for a new way in the ongoing global debate with and over Iran, the arrival of such delegation with no preconditions could have been used by the Iranian regime as a proof of approval from the European union; and thus neutralize the effect of sanctions and diplomatic moves taken to create change of Iranian policies (in military and human rights aspects). The cancellation of the Delegation by Iranian parliament announced just now confirms the worries that Iran will only cooperate with the west on its own conditions, and is not willing to change.
The delegation was cancelled over the request to meet two activists awarded a Sakharov prize for Human Rights and freedom by the EU just this Friday. The Iranian parliament mentioned in its decline that they are, in fact, prisoners. But they are not criminals – Their activity was political and involved with supporting the opposition after the questionable elections of June 2009. Appreciated, award winning activists in the west are isolated prisoners in Iran – Let this fact be remembered in all future negotiations with Iran.
Al Jazeera reported:
Iran has cancelled a European Parliament delegation visit to Tehran after the group asked to meet two jailed Iranian dissidents awarded a top EU rights prize, a parliament spokeswoman said.
The decision came after senior officials at the parliament, which on Friday awarded its Sakharov prize for human rights and freedom of thought to filmmaker Jafar Panahi andhuman rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, said they wanted the delegation to meet the two activists.
“After hearing the new conditions, the Iranians decided to cancel,” European Parliament spokeswoman Satu Helin told the Reuters news agency. The delegation was set to travel to Tehran from October 27 to November 2.
Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted an Iranian parliamentary official as saying the European delegation had stated as a “precondition” a visit with Sotoudeh and Panahi.