Iran decries Britain’s attempt to remove MKO from terror list

June 3rd, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, June 3 (IANS) Iran Tuesday strongly condemned Britain’s attempts to remove the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from the list of banned foreign terrorist groups, IRNA news agency reported. The MKO was one of the deadly terrorist outfits allegedly allied with the regime of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and received most of its support from it. The terror group was reportedly assisting the executed Iraqi leader in suppressing opposition within Iraq.

Recently, British media reported that the government was planning to remove the terror outfit from the list of banned foreign terrorist organisations, as it was not involved in any crime for last eight years.

Reacting over the reports, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini Tuesday said MKO had been continuing its terror activities over recent years and Britain’s policy towards the group was unacceptable.

“The world is well aware that the group has committed several heinous acts over the past three decades. The group’s conduct in standing beside the Iraqi troops during the Iraq war is not hidden to anyone,” the official said, adding that the group has a dark record of killing thousands of civilians, government officials and political leaders in the last three decades.

Iran has evidence that the group was involved in 17 incidents of terror activities in Iran since the Iraqi occupation, Hosseini said in response to Britain’s justification that MKO has not committed any terror act since August 2001.

Calling the justification as legally and judicially unjustified, the official said: “Any move to clean criminal record of the outfit will portray Britain in minds of the public as an accomplice of terrorists and the approach is strongly condemned.”

He stressed that the move by a UN Security Council member “runs in contradiction with the international law and regulations regarding terrorism”, including the UN Security Council resolutions concerning international cooperation for campaign against illicit terrorism phenomenon.

On Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry summoned British Ambassador Geoffrey Adams to lodge its protest against a British Court of Appeal ruling that supported the removal of the MKO from Britain’s list of banned terror organizations.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Mehdi Safari also described the verdict as “political and unacceptable”.

Safari pointed to the MKO’s major crimes against Iran, saying the group planted bombs in parts of the country and killed a large number of Iranians over the past 30 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and warned Britain of the repercussions the decision would have on Tehran-London relations.

“The Court of Appeal’s decision proves that the British government is applying double standards towards terrorism and towards the MKO as an example of terrorism. This is not acceptable for a European government that claims to be fighting against terrorism,” he stated.

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