Tehran condemns EU for removing PMOI from terror list


Tehran : Tehran Monday condemned the European Union (EU) foreign ministers for removing the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) from their list of terrorist organisations.

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The Iranian foreign ministry said in a press statement that the EU has decided to make “friendship and cooperation with terrorists” who have been involved in several terrorist operations and killings of innocent people.

The statement further charged the EU of pursuing a double standard towards dealing with terrorism and has hence distanced itself from the main principles of the global fight against terrorism.

The statement termed the EU move as unacceptable and aimed at following short-term political objectives against the Iranian government.

The EU decision Monday followed a ruling by the European Court in Luxembourg, which in December said the EU was wrong to keep the PMOI’s assets frozen after it was taken off a British list of terrorist organisations.

Founded in 1965, the PMOI operated a military wing in its early years, but says it renounced violence in June 2001 and now advocates the political overthrow of Iran’s current government.

Iran regards PMOI as a terrorist group due to its involvement in the assassinations of several high-ranking Iranian officials, including the president and prime minister in 1980.

After the group was expelled from France in the 1980s, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein allocated a military base to the PMOI near the border with Iran.

Before the ouster of Saddam, the PMOI frequently infiltrated Iranian territory, leading to clashes with Iranian forces and casualties on both sides.