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News number: 8711081955

19:28 | 2009-01-27

Foriegn Policy

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Delisting MKO by EU Provokes Iran's Condemnation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned on Monday night the European Union's move to strike the anti-Iran terrorist group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), off its terror black list.



"The Islamic republic of Iran strongly condemns the EU's unacceptable move and deeply regrets that the EU has deviated its way from the international community in the war on terror in an effort to achieve its temporary and illegitimate political objectives," the ministry said in a statement.

"Therefore, the Islamic republic of Iran believes that the EU lacks legitimacy and competence in the war on terror," the statement added.

The European Union decided Monday to remove the anti-Iran terrorist group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), from its blacklist, a move which caused angry demonstrators to pour to the streets in Tehran.

The 27- nation bloc's foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, decided to drop MKO from the blacklist. The MKO had been blacklisted as a terror organization by the EU since 2002.

The decision came as hundreds of Iranians demonstrated in front of the French embassy to voice strong protest against the European Union's decision.

According to the statement released by Iran's Foreign Ministry, the EU Foreign Ministers Council's move violated international rules and regulations and ignored the EU's commitments to international anti-terrorism treaties.

Delisting the terrorist group which has been involved in the murder of over several thousands of civilians and innocent Iranians is a condemned and invalid attitude, the ministry added.

"The terrorist group has avoided even the least changes in its sectarian ideology and violent policy and has never evaded terrorist measures; it has also never denied its previous massive terrorist actions against Iranians and Iraqis by the support of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein," the statement said.

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.