[DEBATE] : UK Legalizes Mojahedin-e Khalq and Unfreezes Its Assets
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Wed Jun 25 13:52:12 BST 2008
Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 17:29 UK
Iranian group in UK terror win
An Iranian opposition organisation is pushing to be legalised across
the EU after being taken off the UK's list of alleged terrorist
The People's Mojahedin of Iran, also known as Mujaheddin-e-Khalq, has
been legalised in the UK after winning an earlier court battle.
The UK government named the PMOI as an alleged terrorist group in 2001.
Tehran says the PMOI is dangerous and violent - but supporters say it
has wants a secular democratic system.
Westminster lifted the UK ban on the opposition group on Monday
evening, six months after an unprecedented legal victory.
* PMOI's appeal: Read what the British tribunal said in full:
Most computers will open this document automatically, but you may need
A special tribunal found last year that ministers had acted perversely
in proscribing the PMOI, ruling that evidence pointed in the other
Since then, PMOI supporters have accused London of delaying legalising
the group for diplomatic reasons. Ministers have denied appeasing
Tehran, saying the decision to ban, and now to lift, had the support
of all the government.
Announcing the lifting of the ban, security minister Tony McNulty told
MPs: "The PMOI is opposed to the Iranian government, and its stated
aim is to replace that regime with a secular democracy."
"Although it currently describes itself as a non-violent democratic
movement, there can be no doubt that the PMOI was responsible for vile
acts of terrorism over a long period, stretching back some two decades
prior to 2001.
"Those were not acts attributed to the PMOI by the Iranian
authorities. It expressly admitted responsibility for a number of
horrendous crimes carried out against the Iranian people, aimed at
both civilian and military targets."
Western officials estimate the PMOI has limited support in Iran
largely because of previous violence.
Thousands of its members remain based in Iraq. However, they were
disarmed in the wake of the US-led invasion and are said to have
adhered to a ceasefire.
An EU-wide proscription of the PMOI remains in place - but British
ministers have said this could be lifted because it is based on
London's assessment of the risk posed by the group.
Lord Corbett, a prominent British supporter of the campaign to
legalise the group, called on the European Union to follow suit.
"Our own government and others in the EU governments and the US must
now understand that the PMOI are our allies and not our enemies in
beating back the menace that Iran's theocratic regime represents," he
British Treasury to free MKO assets
Wed, 25 Jun 2008 12:38:53
The British Treasury has announced its decision to unfreeze several
bank accounts that belong to the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).
In a Tuesday statement, the Treasury said that it would unblock nine
of the MKO assets frozen since 2001.
Other MKO assets, which were blocked based on the European Council's
decision, will remain frozen until the Council reviews the matter, the
The MKO is recognized as a terror organization by Iran, Iraq, Canada,
the United States, and the European Union. The group, closely allied
with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, is responsible for
bombings, assassinations, and terrorist attacks in Iran and Iraq over
the past 25 years.
The Treasury announced its plans after the British judiciary,
government, and Parliament reached a final decision to remove the
group from the country's list of terrorist organizations.
The announcement came just hours after the Treasury released details
about sanctions that are to be imposed on Iranian banks over the
country's nuclear program.
Iran Freedom and Regime Change Politics
Tom Barry | May 19, 2006
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