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Tehran Criticizes EU Delegation For Meeting Dissidents

Filmmaker Jafar Panahi met with the EU delegation
Iran has slammed European parliamentarians for meeting with prominent dissidents during a visit this month to the Islamic republic.

The eight-member European Parliament delegation, during a six-day visit that ended on December 17, met with human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi.

Iran's ISNA news agency reported on December 22 that officials at the Greek Embassy in Tehran, who had arranged the meeting, were summoned to the Foreign Ministry on December 22 to be informed of Iran's "displeasure."

Kazem Jalali, a conservative lawmaker, said the meeting amounted to "interference in Iran's internal affairs.”

Sotoudeh and Panahi were both arrested in the aftermath of former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection in 2009.

Sotoudeh and Panahi were released along with nearly a dozen other political prisoners in September.

Based on reporting by AFP and ISNA