Islamic Republic Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki received a less than enthusiastic reception from some EU parliamentarians as he made his way into the Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels to make a speech on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
British conservative legislator Struan Stevenson held up a photo of Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed by regime security forces during a protest in Tehran last year. He shouted 'murderer' at Mottaki as the Foreign Minister pushed his way into the committee hearing room.
Other legislators, particularly from Italy, Spain, and Estonia, joined the unusual protest, during which EU parliament security agents pushed back members of parliament, who were brandishing photos of Neda. 'We should never have invited him in the first place,' a British lawmaker can be heard saying on footage of the skirmish.
Satellite news channel Al Arabiya reported on the event and broadcast the same footage:
Meanwhile, protesters stood outside the European Union building in Brussels. One Iranian woman took a Belgian representative to task for organizing a luncheon with Mottaki as she explained that members of her family had been killed by the Islamic regime. She pointed to an older woman next to her and said that she had also lost dear ones, namely a son and a niece:
Further reading: The Wall Street Journal - 'Honoring Neda Soltan's Memory'