TEHRAN, Iran – An adviser to Iran's parliamentary speaker says Tehran has refused a request by a group of European lawmakers to visit two jailed dissidents to present them with awards.
Hossein Sheikholeslam says the Islamic Republic rejected preconditions by the team for visiting Evin prison near Tehran and meet the two.
His comments were reported by the semi-official Mehr news agency Saturday. Mehr says the group is still expected to arrive Sunday. The EU could not be immediately reached for comment.
The European Parliament awarded the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi, both serving jail terms in Tehran. Soutedeh is a human rights lawyer and Panahi is a filmmaker. Both were charged with roles in supporting the opposition in post-election unrest in 2009..