UK. IRANIAN OPPOSITION GROUP REMOVED FROM TERROR LIST
June 23, 2008: British
lawmakers formally removed an Iranian opposition group from the U.K.'s list of
banned terror groups, after a seven-year campaign by the organization.
Legislators approved the
decision of the Court of Appeal, which ruled in May that the People's
Mujahedeen of Iran should no longer be listed as a proscribed group.
The decision gives the
group more freedom to organize and raise money in Britain.
The PMOI is considered a
terrorist organization in the U.S.
and European Union. The group's British backers say it no longer engages in any
kind of armed struggle.
Leaders of the group have
been fighting to shed its terrorist tag after a series of bloody anti-Western
attacks in the 1970s â and nearly 30 years of violent struggle against the
Iranian theocratic regime.
The group moved to Iraq in the early 1980s and it fought Iran's Islamic rulers from there until the United States
invaded in 2003. American troops have since disarmed thousands of PMOI members.
British Home Office minister
Tony McNulty said that the government had unsuccessfully appealed against the
Court of Appeal's decision because of the group's violent past.
"The PMOI admitted
responsibility for a number of horrendous crimes carried out against the
Iranian people, both civilian and military targets," McNulty said.
Britain's list also contains organizations
such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.
Supporters of the PMOI said
they now expect the EU to review the PMOI's status following the decision by a
British court and lawmakers. (Sources: AP, 24/06/2008)