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British and French unlawful efforts to appease mullahs by maintaining the PMOI in the terror list

NCRI – In a press conference in Brussels on March 28, senior members of the European Parliament from different political groups condemned British and French insistence to defy the ruling of the European Communities’ Court annulling terrorist designation of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. By exposing their efforts, they called for immediate implementation of the court ruling and removal of the PMOI from the terror list.

The conference was chaired by Mr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, Vice President of the European Parliament from Spain. Others in the panel included, Mr. Struan Stevenson, Deputy Chair of the EPP group; Mr. Paulo Casaca, from the Socialist group; Mr. Jean-Pierre Spitzer, defense lawyer for the PMOI and Mr. Firouz Mahvi, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

In the opening remarks Mr. Vidal Quadras said: " It is quite obvious now, nearly four months after the Court of First Instance (CFI) ruling, that the initial decision to include the PMOI in the terrorist list was politically motivated, maintaining it on the list was also politically motivated and now the refusal to remove it from the list is politically motivated." He then emphasized that the EU has not given up on the idea of appeasing Tehran into compliance and acceptable behavior and called on the EU to undo a great injustice and abide by the CFI verdict.

In his remarks, Mr. Stevenson referred to a recent letter by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the PMOI and said that the Council of Ministers in its "statement of reasons" to the PMOI on January 30 had told the organization that the final decision to maintain the PMOI would be made after a study of the response made by the PMOI and its relevant documents. But the letter by Mr. Blair addressed to some British MPs states: "Following the CFI decision on the MeK case in December, the EU has reviewed the listing using improved procedures and on 30 January reaffirmed its decision to include the MeK on its list of terrorist organizations."

Mr. Stevenson underlined the contradiction and concluded that there is a clear indication that the UK is trying to impose the unlawful process upon the Council of Ministers with specific aims. He also noted that one cannot even see the British to observe formalities respected by the Council in its official communications. He said that it was making a mockery of the Court ruling and infringement of the rule of law and the Council of Ministers had placed itself above the law.

By referring to parts of the ruling of the CFI on December 12, 2006, Mr. Spitzer rejected the reasoning of the Council of Ministers saying that the court ruling only concerned the previous list issued in December 2005 as bearing no legal foundation and in clear contradiction to court ruling. Mr. Spitzer reiterated that annulment of the terrorist designation of the PMOI was such that as it never existed. Therefore to maintain the PMOI in the list is in total contradiction with the court ruling.

Mr. Casaca reiterated that the inclusion of the PMOI in the terror list was done on political motives from the onset. The insistence of some of the EU countries for continuation of the terror listing is not only due to their insistence on continuation of the appeasement policy, which is a wrong and failed policy. This policy has emboldened the mullahs further, brought them closer than ever to acquire nuclear weapons and has made the region closer than ever to the brink of a major crisis.

He said that we at the European Parliament have conducted our investigation on the PMOI and delegations of   the European Parliament have visited Camp Ashraf, the headquarters of the PMOI three times and have talked to scores of the members of the PMOI in various levels. We are fully aware that none of the allegations raised by the Council of Ministers vis-à-vis the PMOI is credible. He elaborated that Friends of a Free Iran Inter-Parliamentary group of the European Parliament has provided an elaborate response to the Council of Ministers and has sent a copy of its response to EU heads of states and ambassadors. 

Mr. Mahvi provided some information from within the regime obtained by the Iranian Resistance and said: "Following the ruling by the Court of First Instance of the European Communities on December 12, the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) held several meetings and in these meetings the regime’s Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Motaki and Ali Larijani, Secretary of the SNSC, were assigned to European countries to deliver warnings on the consequences of removing the PMOI from the terror list." He added: "The British and the French governments have assured the Iranian regime in recent weeks that despite the ruling of the EU court that annulled the terrorist listing of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) they will find a way to prevent the removal of Tehran’s opposition from the list. The UK and France offered some kind of guarantees to the regime to this effect. T hese two countries have promised Tehran that they would do their utmost to bring along the other EU member states and to convince the Council of Ministers to issue a statement as soon as possible to announce inclusion of the PMOI in the terror list."

The European Court of First Instance on Dec 12, 2006, annulled a Council Decision which included the PMOI in the EU’s terror list. The Council of Ministers issued a statement on January 30 defying the court ruling, which it has refused to implement.

Defying the court order and its consequences has fuelled widespread dismay among jurists and politicians from all over Europe.

More than 1,000 members of the parliaments from 23 EU member states have criticized the conduct of the Council of Ministers on this matter in statements issued in February 2007.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 28, 2007