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EU diplomat's meeting with Iranian activists stirs controversy

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Tehran Member of Parliament Mehdi Kochakzadeh has taken shots at the Ministry of Intelligence and the Foreign Ministry for allowing EU diplomat Catherine Ashton to meet with "elements guilty of sedition."

Read related articles by Shargh and Etemaad dailies

On Wednesday March 12, Kochakzadeh described Ashton's actions as worse than the policy of capitulation and insisted that Europeans have no right to interfere in Iran's judicial system or speak of human rights issues in the country.

Ali Larijani, the head of Parliament, stressed that Ashton's meeting with Women's Rights Activists should not be compared with capitulation; however, he conceded that Ashton's actions were "inappropriate and unbecoming."

On the last day of her recent visit to Iran, Ashton, the head of EU foreign policy, met with a number of Iranian women's rights activists.

Parliament has been highly critical of the Foreign Ministry for allowing the meeting, but the ministry has responded that it was not aware of this meeting.

Iranian FM Zarif fielding tough questions after Ashton's visit
(cartoon by Mohammad Tahani, Arman daily)

The Foreign Ministry has said that Ashton's unannounced meeting with the activists in the Austrian Embassy triggers suspicions among the Iranian people regarding the West's intentions and is highly detrimental to the process of mutual confidence-building.

A group of independent Islamic associations at Tehran University have announced that they are planning to stage demonstrations in front of the Austrian Embassy on Wednesday to protest the secret meeting that was held there.

The embassy has announced that it will be closed on Wednesday.

... Payvand News - 03/13/14 ... --

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