Thousands of Iranians to Rally in Brussels to Demand Removal of Terror Tag

Iran Focus: Thousands of Iranians will be heading to Brussels from across Europe on Monday, September 13, to take part in a huge rally outside the offices of the European Union as EU foreign ministers meet inside, Iranian exiles said.
The rally is being organized by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of democratic opposition groups seeking to topple the theocratic regime in
Iran and establish a democratically-elected government in its place. Thousands of Iranians to Rally in Brussels to Demand Removal of Terror Tag from Iranian Resistance

Iran Focus

Brussels, Aug 30 – Thousands of Iranians will be heading to Brussels from across Europe on Monday, September 13, to take part in a huge rally outside the offices of the European Union as EU foreign ministers meet inside, Iranian exiles said.

The rally is being organized by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of democratic opposition groups seeking to topple the theocratic regime in Iran and establish a democratically-elected government in its place.

In an interview with Iran Focus, rally organisers said their aim is to urge the EU foreign ministers to remove the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, from the EU’s list of terrorist organisations.

“The inclusion of the People's Mojahedin in the EU terror list was only intended as a gift to a regime that has executed over 120,000 political prisoners. It had no legal grounds whatsoever,” NCRI member Firouz Mahvi said.

The organisers are expecting a huge turnout, where demonstrators will call for an end to the ‘unjust terrorist label’ placed against the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran and will ask the EU council to ‘place it around the neck of the Iranian regime.’

“Now the United States government, after an exhaustive 16-month investigation and review, has exonerated PMOI members from any terrorist ties, it is high time for the EU to stop the appeasement of the terrorist mullahs ruling Iran and remove the PMOI from the terror list, Mahvi said.

In its July 27 issue, the New York Times quoted Senior U.S. officials as saying that “extensive interviews by officials of the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had not come up with any basis to bring charges against any members of the group (PMOI).”

“Even the Home Secretary informed the House of Commons in February 2001 that the PMOI had not been involved in any attacks on Western or UK interests,” Mahvi said. “When the PMOI was added to the EU terror list during the Spanish presidency, the Spanish ambassador in Tehran told the official press that the move was taken in response to the Iranian regime’s demand and was a goodwill gesture to Iran.”

“The Iranian regime drew up some seven billion dollars worth of trade contracts with certain EU member states to make sure the EU would return the favour by blacklisting the main opposition to Tehran,” Mahvi said.

Many experts agree that by putting the PMOI on the terror list, Europe has effectively deprived itself of an opportunity to support forces of change and democracy in Iran at a time when the Iranian regime is showing increasing intransigence and defiance by forging ahead with its nuclear weapon program, sending terrorists into Iraq and violating human rights in an unprecedented manner.

Growing discontent with the Iranian regime’s failure to bring about any real reforms have led to an increasingly volatile atmosphere. The regime in turn has responded by stepping up executions, torture and arbitrary arrests. In the first seven months of 2004, more than 100 prisoners were hanged in public and many more are on death row

Last week, the hanging of a sixteen-year-old girl in front of a horrified public in the northern town of Neka was condemned by human rights organisations around the world, including Amnesty International. The religious judge who sent her to the gallows said her sexual “misbehaviour” in itself did not merit such a punishment, but he had to punish her for her “sharp tongue”.

The rally in Brussels will convene in Schuman Square on Monday, 13 September 2004.

Iran’s determined drive to acquire nuclear weapons is another cause of grave concern for the international community. The clerical regime's persistent deception in its dealings with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the continuing uranium enrichment despite pledges made to the European countries to the contrary leave no doubt that Tehran is trying to buy time to obtain nuclear weapons.

This, coupled with increasing military and terrorist meddling in Iraq designed to erect a religious dictatorship in that country, poses a grave risk to peace and tranquility in the Middle East and beyond.