Iran cancels meeting with European Parliament lawmakers

(JTA) — Iran cancelled 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.

Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panah on Oct. 26 were named the winners of the E.U.’s Sakharov prize for human rights and freedom of thought. The delegation reportedly wanted to give the activists, who are both in Iranian prisons, their prizes in person.

Iran reportedly cancelled 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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