BRUSSELS -- A delegation from the European Parliament has returned from a one-week visit to Iran, the first since 2007.
The visit comes amid a thaw in relations between Iran and the West.
While in Iran, the delegation met with 2012 Sakharov Prize winners Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi and said it discussed human rights issues with the parliament and opposition.
The deputies met with Sotoudeh and Panahi and extended an invitation to travel to Strasbourg to collect their prizes, but it is unclear when and if they can travel.
However, the European Parliament said it will try to send their 50,000-euro ($69,000) prize to them, despite difficulties in carrying out financial transactions between the European Union and Iran.
The delegation, which returned on December 18, said it hoped the EU's special representative on human rights can soon travel to Tehran to start a human rights dialogue.