Extra: European Union Calls on US to Drop MKO from Terror List
25 Nov 2010 20:06
EU Urges U.S. to Remove Iran Group From Terror List
Wall Street Journal | Nov 25
The European Parliament Thursday passed a written declaration calling on the U.S. to remove the People's Mujahideen of Iran from its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
The resolution became official when more than half the members of the 736-seat chamber signed it, but support was nearly unanimous, a parliament official said.
The People's Mujahideen, which aims to overthrow the Iranian government, has been on the list since 1997, when the U.S.'s Clinton administration put it there in a bid to secure closer cooperation with Tehran.
In July, a U.S. federal appeals court ordered the State Department to reconsider its decision.
Specifically, the European Parliament demanded that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton "urge" the U.S. to remove People's Mujahideen from the list. Mrs. Ashton hasn't yet responded, a spokeswoman said.
EU Lawmakers Urge U.S. to Remove Iranian Group From Terror List
Bloomberg | Nov 25
In January 2009, the EU allowed the group to operate freely throughout the 27-nation bloc, ending restrictions imposed in 2002.
Ashton should also push the United Nations to provide "urgent protection" for the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, which has been a base for the group's members since 1986, lawmakers said in the statement.
U.S. forces handed over responsibility for security at the camp to Iraq in February 2009. Since then, the group says its 3,400 residents have been deliberately mistreated by the pro-Iranian Iraqi government.
Iran blames the Mujahedeen for the assassinations of high-ranking Iranian officials in the 1970s and 1980s. The group says it has foresworn violence.
related reading | No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps (Human Rights Watch) | The Bloody Red Summer of 1988 (Tehran Bureau)