The Leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and Member of the European Parliament Hannes Swoboda speaking to the press in Tehran on Wednesday provided comments on the 2012 Sakharov Prize which was given to two Iranians, saying "As for the Sakharov Prize I have to say that the act has never meant to be against Iran, but one in defense of the proliferation of law and the freedom of expression.”
"Meanwhile, we have to make the point that a small issue must not stop the talks between Iran and the European Union,” he asserted.
In answer to a question by Fars regarding Iran’s limited time to be allocated to the nuclear negotiations, Swoboda said "I think that the EU and Iran have to work their way toward removing sanctions step by step.”
The Leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats added "Of course I agree with you that our time to do so is limited, and that we both need to work toward understanding.”
The Austria representative to the EU Parliament also stated that Iran and the EU need to start talks on human rights, adding "Of course this does not mean that we would want to teach you, but will rather mean a two-sided interaction between Iran and the EU.”