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Iran President says US links to terrorist MKO are 'suspicious'

President Mohammad Khatami welcomed France's rounding up of members of the Mujahedin Khalq opposition group, but took Washington for task for having "suspicious" links to the terrorist organization, IRNA reported from Tehran.

"The treatment given to Munafeqin (Tehran' description of the group meaning hypocrites) by America in Iraq is suspicious since it creates the suspicion to say these forces might be misused (against us)," he told reporters here Wednesday.

On Tuesday, French police conducted a series of dawn raids in a Paris region against the terrorist organization, whose fate remains in balance since the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

The Iraqi Baath regime provided sanctuary to the group which has carried out a series of terrorist bombings and assassinations to target both Iranian officials and civilians since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Khatami said, "Paris with this move has acted according to its commitments as a member of the European Union." The largest European bloc as well as US have designated MKO as a terrorist group.

"Terrorist groups must be prosecuted according to justice and the Islamic Republic of Iran is among victims of terrorists," he added.

MKO was said to be party to the Baath regime's suppression of opposition in Iraq. US military reached a ceasefire agreement with the terrorist group at the end of the American-led war in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Tehran is watching Washington's interaction with MKO since then, amid some voices in Washington that US government re-classify the terrorist group and use them as a tool against the Islamic Republic.

EU says MKO is a terrorist group

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, Wednesday reiterated that the Iranian MKO grouplet is a terrorist group, IRNA reported from Brussels.

In reply to IRNA's question on the arrest of hundreds of members of the so-called National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in France on Tuesday, Commission spokesperson for external relations Emma Udwin reminded that the MKO is on the terrorist list of the EU.

"We condemn terrorism in all its form and the MKO is on our terrorist list," she said.

Udwin added that the arrests of the NCRI members in Paris is an issue that concerns France.

The NCRI is the political wing of the MKO which was put on the EU's terrorist list last year.

... Payvand News - 6/19/03 ... --

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