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Iranian opposition seeks Syria-style recognition


PARIS (AFP) — Iran's exiled opposition on Wednesday launched a campaign to have France and the European Union grant it the same recognition they have accorded to the Syrian coalition battling to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

"The West's biggest political error has been to ignore the key movement for change in Iran," said Maryam Radjavi, the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

"International sanctions against Iran have been positive but they will only be effective if the West changes policy towards the resistance. The only solution in Iran is a change of regime by the Iranian people."

Radjavi was speaking at France's National Assembly, where a group of 10 deputies from across the political spectrum has launched a petition calling on the government to recognise the Iranian resistance.

France was the first Western power to recognise Syria's opposition coalition as the "sole" representatives of the Syrian people. The European Union and the United States have upgraded its status to "legitimate representatives".

The People's Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK), also led by Radjavi, is the largest component of the NCRI.

The United States decided in September to revoke the MEK's designation as a terrorist organisation in a move seen as paving the way for closer cooperation on action against the Islamist government in Iran.