NewsSpecial WireIrate Iran summons EU envoys after opposition leader's visit

Irate Iran summons EU envoys after opposition leader’s visit

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Oct. 25 – Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned on Wednesday the ambassadors of Belgium and Finland to protest a visit to Brussels by the head by the main Iranian opposition coalition, state-run news agencies reported. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Oct. 25 – Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned on Wednesday the ambassadors of Belgium and Finland to protest a visit to Brussels by the head by the main Iranian opposition coalition, state-run news agencies reported.

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), arrived at the Belgian Senate in Brussels on Tuesday under heavy police escort where she was greeted by Senate President Anne-Marie Lizin along with Liberal Senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven and Socialist Senator Pierre Galand.

The government-owned news agency Mehr quoted Ibrahim Rahim-Pour, the director-general of Western European Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, as condemning the decision by the Belgian Senate to welcome Rajavi.

The official news agency IRNA reported that Rahim-Pour expressed Tehran’s “strong condemnation” of the visit to the EU envoys.

The state-run news agency ILNA quoted Rahim-Pour as describing the affair as an “unfriendly gesture by Belgium”.

Finland currently holds the EU’s rotating Presidency. Both envoys had previously been summoned by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday over the affair.

The NCRI, a broad coalition of groups and personalities, seeks to oust Iran’s clerics from power with the aim of establishing a “democratic, secular and coalition government in Iran”. Among its member groups is the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI or MeK) which was listed as a terrorist organisation by the European Union in mid-2002, in what the EU’s then-Spanish leadership called “a goodwill gesture to Tehran”.

Belgium’s Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that Rajavi was representing the NCRI during her visit rather than any single group in the coalition. The NCRI is not on the EU’s blacklist, it said.

“Last week, the EU belatedly announced that negotiations with the regime [over Tehran’s nuclear program”> had been fruitless. … Despite the failure of the policy of appeasement, the EU still lacks a principled and decisive policy against the mullahs’ regime”, Rajavi told Belgian Senators on Tuesday.

She urged the EU to remove the terror tag from the PMOI and impose comprehensive diplomatic and trade sanctions and an oil embargo on Tehran.

In April, the Belgian Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution urging the EU to re-examine the terror label placed on the PMOI.

Lawmakers called on the Belgian government to reconsider the “listing of the PMOI as a terrorist organisation” within the framework of the European Union and on the basis of relevant information available.

A similar resolution urging the government to re-evaluate the PMOI’s terror listing was unanimously adopted by the Belgian Senate in December 2005.

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