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News number: 8711061754

19:07 | 2009-01-25

Foriegn Policy

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Larijani Lambasts European Parliament's Stance on MKO

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian parliament speaker criticized some of European Parliament members for their efforts to strike the anti-Iran terrorist group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), off the list of terrorist organizations.



The European Union is expected to decide whether to retain or cross out the MKO off its list of terrorist organizations on Monday, according to EU officials.

The EU decision will come as a so-called "A point" at the Monday meeting.

"A points" are usually rubber-stamped without discussion as the details have already been ironed out by ambassadors, but nations could still raise objections.

Ali Larijani also described the move as a part of Zionists' plot to negatively affect the European politicians' decision-making on Iran.

The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.

The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a letter last year in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).

Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.

A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.

The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

On Iran's nuclear issue, Iranian Parliament speaker said that the US position at the next 5+1 meeting in London shows if Washington has changed its policies towards the Islamic Republic after the Bush era.

Britain, China, France, Russia and US plus Germany are the six countries that will meet in London on Monday to discuss the issue of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.

Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.

Iran insists that it should continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

Iran currently suffers from an electricity shortage that has forced the country into adopting a rationing program by scheduling power outages - of up to two hours a day - across both urban and rural areas.

Iran plans to construct additional nuclear power plants to provide for the electricity needs of its growing population.

The Islamic Republic says that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of IAEA's questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.

Political observers believe that during the Bush era, the United States remained at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries.