Source AP ©

Speech to Council of Europe cancelled by Iranian speaker

A planned speech to the Council of Europe was cancelled by Iran's parliament speaker. He is protesting the fact that members of an opposition Iranian movement had been invited to address the human rights watchdog earlier this week.

Maryam Rajavi, head of The National Council of Resistance - the Paris-based political wing of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran - spoke Monday to parliamentarians from the Council's 47-member states.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel was to address the Council's parliamentary assembly in his role as president of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, but was replaced by the Indonesian parliament speaker, the Council said.

A group of parliamentarians from all major political groups in the assembly had protested Haddad Adel's visit, calling on fellow lawmakers to leave the building if he spoke.

They said a speech by a high-ranking representative of Iran to a human right body was unacceptable, as the country supports the eradication of Israel, denies the Holocaust and is a threat to world peace because it tries to obtain a military nuclear capacity.

The Asian Parliamentary Assembly was modeled on the Council of Europe's assembly, and its members were in Strasbourg to meet their European counterparts.