European Parliament Delegation to Visit Iran This Week

A delegation from the European Parliament heads to Iran this week tasked with reestablishing links with politicians and broaching human rights issues, a member of the group told Agence France Presse Tuesday.

The diplomatic visit, due to take place from December 13-16, comes hard on the heels of last month's landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The official program for the visit has yet to be finalized but will take in meetings with the authorities and deputies, said delegation member, Belgian ecologist Isabelle Durant.

There will also be informal meetings with opponents of the regime and human rights activists, she said.

Among these are filmmaker Jafar Panahi and the lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, the 2012 winners of the EU's Sakharov prize for human rights.

"We will congratulate the progress of the regime but we will also be putting the difficult questions on the table," Durant said.

The delegation is composed of left-wing politicians from Finland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. Members of the center-right European People's Party (PPE) declined to go.

In October 2012, the parliament canceled a planned trip to Iran after authorities refused to allow delegates to meet with Panahi and Sotoudeh.

Source: Agence France Presse

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