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Iran turns to UN ver EU approval of MKO terrorist group

Mohammad KhazaeiPress TV - Iran has filed a complaint to the UN on the recent EU decision to remove the Mujahedin Khalq Organization from its list of terror groups.

"The European Union must realize that a political approach to terrorism, which threatens the lives and security of people around the world, is totally unacceptable for the global public opinion," Iran's permanent envoy to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaei, wrote in a Wednesday letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"The EU's politically motivated decision will not change the terrorist nature of the group. It will not 'turn the page' of history on the cult's terrorist activities and massacre of innocent civilians, nor will it cleanse the terrorist group of its criminal past," he added.

Khazaei added that the removal of the group from the European list of terror organizations had caused great pain for over 14 thousand people who had lost their family members in MKO terror attacks.

The Iranian envoy called on the EU to revise its decision by sending a collection of evidence it has to European courts explaining the terrorist nature of the MKO, and resolving the technical objections that had led to the court ruling.

On Monday EU ministers removed the exiled anti-Iran group from their list of terror organizations, following a European court ruling in favor of the group, which has accepted responsibility for many deadly attacks against Iranian and Iraqi civilians and cooperated actively with the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In one of their deadliest attacks, the MKO carried out a 1981 bombing that killed Iranian Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohmmad Beheshti and 71 other senior officials.

Among their most recent terror activities is the 1999 assassination of the chief-of-staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Ali Sayad Shirazi, just outside his house in the early hours of April 10th, as he was preparing to leave for work.

MKO is notorious for the cult like tactics it uses against its members, and the murder and torture of its defectors.

Numerous articles and letters posted on the internet by family members of MKO recruits confirm reports of the horrific abuse that the group inflicts on its own members and the luring recruitment methods it uses.

EU responsible for MKO terror acts: ex-MKO member

Masoud KhodabandehLondon, IRNA, Jan 29-A former member of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MKO), who abandoned the outlawed group in protest at its terrorist operations, said the European Union should take responsibility of supporting the MKO in its terrorist acts.

Masoud Khodabandeh said deproscribing the MKO by the EU is a politically-motivated move which leads to support for the terrorism spread by the MKO.

He told IRNA that Europeans should take the responsibility of future measures by MKO terrorists who are going to be allowed to enter Europian countries.

"You [the Europeans] cannot defend terrorists [by deproscribing the MKO] and at the same time claim you are countering terrorism," he said.

Khodabandeh, who is now the spokesman of a non-governmental organisation dedicated to help members abandoning the MKO, said European leaders have adopted a double-standard policy towards the issue of terrorism.

"The MKO case proves that the European Union behaves in a discriminatory manner," he said, adding that Europeans are well-aware that MKO members have conducted many terrorist operations in the past three decades.

He said the MKO bears "no significance" in international developments as "it has now expired".

Khodabandeh added that MKO members, if released from the Ashraf Camp in Iraq and admitted to European countries, would spread insecurity and terrorism across Europe.

He said the terrorist nature of the MKO has never changed as its members are wearing uniforms and taking military drills in the Ashraf Camp.

He added that Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation has not only slaughtered many Iranians but also "has been directly engaged in killing Iraqi Shiites and Kurds and suppressing even its own members".

Out of around 3,000 MKO members, he suggested, some 2,000 are in critical health conditions "and are willing to leave the Ashraf Camp."

Khodabandeh said if Europeans do really want to extend their help to these people trapped by the MKO, they should welcome them to Europe--a move he said his organisation will favour.

Ban on MKO chief's entry to UK expected to remain in force

London, Jan 28, IRNA -- Head of MKO terrorist grouplet Maryam Rajavi is expected to remain excluded from the UK despite the EU dropping the previously outlawed group from its proscribed list.

British Foreign Office said that although it does not discuss individual cases of exclusion, the government continues to believe that the MKO or MeK, as it prefers to call it, was 'responsible for vile acts of terrorism over a long period'.

"If an individual has made public statements in the past supporting or condoning terrorism, and has not publicly and unambiguously apologized and refuted such statements, then this would constitute grounds for not admitting an individual into the UK," Foreign Office spokesman Barry Marston said.

"We are not satisfied that the MeK has done enough to distance itself from its past. There is no dispute about its previous terrorist activity: it claimed responsibility for a large number of violent attacks inside Iran for a number of years," Marston told IRNA.

Rajavi was subject to an exclusion order back in October 1997, which banned her entry to the UK on the grounds that the organization contained a large faction of terrorists. The Foreign Office at the time said her presence was 'not conducive to the public good'.

The British government insists that the deproscription of the MKO was 'a judicial and not a political decision' both in the EU as it was earlier in the UK and that it opposed its removal.

"We have made it clear that we were disappointed by the verdict of the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission and of the Court of Appeal, but we had to comply with their decisions," Marston said about the British decision last July.

"Equally, given the clear judgement of the Court of First Instance on December 4, 2008, annulling the MeK's listing in the EU, the EU had no choice but to observe and respect the court's judgement," he added.

Asked whether the UK government still considered the MKO as a terrorist organization, he said that there were still 'serious reservations about the MeK's assertion that it represents a democratic opposition in exile'.

"We see no evidence of popular support for the MeK in Iran, because of its responsibility for terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of many Iranian citizens, and because it fought alongside Iraqi forces against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war," Marston said.

Regarding the potential that the controversial decision could have an adverse effect on Iran's relations with the UK and the EU as a whole, he stressed that it should 'not be seen as a political decision'.

"We would not hesitate to re-proscribe the MeK if circumstances changed and evidence emerged that it was concerned in terrorism," the spokesman said.

He also quoted Home Office Minister Tony McNulty insisting last June during the debate on the deproscription of the MKO that the UK government have 'no plans to meet its representatives'.

MKO terror legitimization prompts protests

Press TV - The family members of victims of MKO terrorist attacks have cautioned the EU against becoming the organization's "partner in crime".

"As victims of MKO terrorism, we advise the European Union not to turn into the group's collaborator in their atrocities against the Iranian nation," reads a statement from the family members.

The victims had gathered in front of the British embassy in Tehran in protest at a recent decision to remove the group known as the 'Rajavi cult' from a list of banned terrorist groups in the EU.

"When Masoud Rajavi and his group launched their terrorist attacks in Iran in 1981, European counties not only did not condemn their atrocities but also gave them refuge in their countries," adds the statement.

The Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), which identifies itself as a Marxist-Islamist guerilla army, was founded in Iran in the 1960s but was exiled some twenty years later for carrying out numerous acts of terrorism inside the country.

The terrorist group is especially notorious for the help it extended to former dictator Saddam Hussein during the war Iraq imposed on Iran (1980-1988).

The group masterminded a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, one of which was the 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party, in which more than 72 Iranian officials were killed, including then Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti.

"The Rajavi cult has conducted its campaign of terror in Iran with the support of the European governments and from their safe havens inside the European capitals," the families said.

In recent months, high-ranking MKO members have been lobbying governments around the world to acknowledge the dissidents as those of a legitimate opposition group.

During the revolution in Iran, the group criticized Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for releasing the American diplomats, arguing that they should have been executed instead.

The United States and Canada have refused to drop the MKO from their lists of terrorist organizations.

The group has also been engaged in cult-like activities such as psychological coercion techniques and physical abuse.

The group has also resorted to 'forced sterilization' as a strategy to prevent members from leaving the group.

... Payvand News - 01/29/09 ... --

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