AP: Buoyed by a legal victory in Britain, an Iranian opposition coalition urged the European Union on Tuesday to remove its largest group from a list of terrorist organizations. The Associated Press
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – Buoyed by a legal victory in Britain, an Iranian opposition coalition urged the European Union on Tuesday to remove its largest group from a list of terrorist organizations.
The EU should respect the rule of law and immediately remove the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran from its terrorist list, Maryam Rajavi said after meeting with EU lawmakers.
Rajavi heads the Paris-based National Council Resistance of Iran, an umbrella group that includes the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran. The mujahedeen have thousands of members in Iraq, mainly in Camp Ashraf in the eastern Diyala province that borders Iran.
The People’s Mujahedeen of Iran has been designated a terrorist group by Iran, and by the United States and the European Union, as well.
But last month, a British court ordered authorities there to remove the group from their list of proscribed organizations. The government said it would appeal, but on Monday the appeal commission denied permission, saying an appeal “has no reasonable prospects for succeeding.”
Since it was Britain that initiated the EU ban, the court’s decision represented an important victory for the group. The group has been fighting to shed its terrorist designation, imposed when it launched since a series of bloody anti-Western attacks in the 1970s. It has struggled violently against the Iranian theocratic regime for nearly 30 years.
The group also won a legal victory against the European Union a year ago, when the Luxembourg-based Court of First Instance ruled that the EU designation of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran as a terrorist organization should be annulled. The ruling has not been honored by the European Commission, and Rajavi said the group had lodged an appeal.
Speaking in the office of Alejo Vidal Quadras, a vice president of the European Parliament, Rajavi said the removal of the mujahedeen from the terror list would energize the movement’s supporters in Iran.
This will also allow EU governments to recognize the National Council Resistance of Iran … as a legal opposition group to the mullahs regime, she said. The pressure that (the democratic opposition) could then exert on the mullahs regime would be a thousand times more effective than any military intervention.