Iranian opposition group off EU terror blacklist
The European Union removed People's Mujahedeen of Iran, a prominent Iranian opposition group operating in Europe and Iraq, from its list of banned terrorist organizations on Monday, a step that could worsen its relations with Iran, which strongly opposed the move.
BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union removed People's Mujahedeen of Iran, a prominent Iranian opposition group operating in Europe and Iraq, from its list of banned terrorist organizations on Monday, a step that could worsen its relations with Iran, which strongly opposed the move.
The group's funds in Europe, which it estimates to be in the tens of millions of dollars, will be unfrozen today.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry denounced the decision.
The group advocates the overthrow of Iran's religious leaders and the creation of a democratic, secular government. After the 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini turned against the group, executing many of its members. The group has claimed responsibility for bombings that killed hundreds in the 1980s.
Several thousand of the group's members live in a fenced-off camp north of Baghdad, where they have had the protection of the U.S. military since 2003. The Iraqis have been under enormous pressure from Iran to expel the group, but if its members are sent back to Iran they will probably be accused of treason and almost certainly executed.
In 2002, the group provided intelligence on Iran's secret nuclear program that helped lead to U.N. sanctions, but its more recent claims have proved less reliable and sometimes wrong.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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