The delegation headed by Tarja Cronberg had constructive meetings in Tehran where good results were to come out, but their visit was followed by some controversy as well.
Beside their meetings with Iranian officials, the European group also met two opposition figures inside one of the European embassies.
The two were Nasrin Sotoudeh, lawyer, and Jafar Panahi, filmmaker, both of whom had made objection to the presidential elections in 2009.
A number of Iranian lawmakers and political figures raised voice against the European delegation’s act in holding the meeting and demanded explanation.
The disputers are also trying to make out whether the meeting had been arranged prior to the European lawmakers’ trip and whether they have had raised the issue as a precondition for their visit to Tehran.
So far neither the Majlis, which had invited the European figures, nor the Foreign Ministry, which acted as the organizing agent, have provided any answer as who is responsible for the side meeting, instead accusing each other.
Head of the Majlis Research Center Kazem Jalali who was the principal parliamentary figure in inviting the European delegation expressed ignorance regarding the guests’ meeting with opposition figures and said "In a meeting we had with Foreign Ministry officials, me and Mr. Boroujerdi expressed objection to such meetings on behalf of the Majlis.”
He stated that the European delegation’s action was outside norms, adding "Europeans have heard the opposition enough. Now it would be better if they’d hear the people.”
The Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham has also denied any responsibility for the meeting.
It must be said that the European parliamentary delegations’ visit which was to have been made in the fall of last year had been deferred due to Iranian authorities’ rejection of the European lawmakers’ request to meet opposition leaders.