MEPs want US to remove Iran group from terror list

EuropeanVoice.com – Parliament wants opposition group taken off terror black-list.
 
The European Parliament today called on Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, to put pressure on the US to remove an Iranian opposition group from its terrorist black-list.

The Parliament adopted a written declaration, backed by 378 MEPs, calling on the US “to follow the example of the EU by removing the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from its black-list”.

MEPs also called on the United Nations to “provide urgent protection” for supporters of the PMOI living in a refugee camp in Iraq. The Ashraf camp is home to more than 3,000 Iranians who have fled Iran in recent years because of their opposition to the government.

The PMOI, which was banished from Iran following the Islamic revolution in 1979, advocates the overthrowing of the cleric-led government. The campaign to have it removed from international terrorist black-lists is being championed in the Parliament by Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a Spanish centre-right MEP, and Stephen Hughes, a British centre-left MEP.

The PMOI was removed from the EU’s terrorist list in January 2009, after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the group’s inclusion on the list by the Council of Ministers was illegal. The ECJ said the procedures used by member states to add the group to the list had violated the PMOI’s rights. It added that the member states failed to provide enough evidence to prove that the PMOI was a terrorist group.

The PMOI has also challenged its terrorist listing in US courts and won a case in a Washington, DC, appeals court in July. The court ordered the US State Department to reconsider its categorisation of the Iranian group.

By Constant Brand

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