AJC Transatlantic Institute Welcomes Cancellation of European Delegation's Iran Trip

Apr 26, 2013, 10:34 ET from American Jewish Committee

BRUSSELS, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomes the news that the planned trip of a European Parliament delegation to Iran next week will no longer take place.

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According to a statement from Tarja Cronberg (Greens/EFA, Finland), Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iran, "it has proved impossible for the Majlis to receive the delegation from the European Parliament on the dates proposed [May 2-6]."

"The simple fact is this trip should never have been considered in the first place," said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels. "The mere suggestion of a desire to visit Iran only emboldens its repressive leadership and weakens those struggling for freedom. That is counter to the mission and values of the European Parliament."

The AJC Transatlantic Institute condemned the planned visit earlier this week, saying it would "undermine" the cause for democracy in Iran. "The grave human rights situation in Iran requires a strong, united response from the European Union, not photo-ops with the repressors themselves," said Schwammenthal at the time.

"It is time for this charade to end," Schwammenthal continued. "The European Parliament should send a very strong message to the Iranians that they will not engage in relations until Iran respects the human and democratic rights of its people. Anything less is unacceptable."

A European Parliament delegation last visited Iran in 2007. Ms. Cronberg said that "alternative dates are being sought."

SOURCE American Jewish Committee