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European Delegation Cancels Iran Visit

Sakharov prizewinners Nasrin Sotoudeh (left) and Jafar Panahi of Iran
The European Parliament says it has canceled a planned visit by five lawmakers to Iran.

The parliament said the trip had been canceled at the last minute on October 27 over Tehran's refusal to allow the lawmakers access to two imprisoned activists.

Parliament President Martin Schulz said the parliament was "nevertheless determined to continue its support for and involvement with the Iranian civil society."

The European Parliament awarded the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi.

Both are serving jail terms in Evin prison near Tehran.

The European Parliament has said it would cancel or cut short the lawmakers' visit if they were prevented from handing to the prisoners in person invitations to attend the awards ceremony in December in Strasbourg, France.

With reporting by dpa
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