Monday, May 23, 2022
HomeIran News NowIran Opposition & ResistancePeople's Mojahedin of Iran a legitimate resistance movement - Lord Slynn

People’s Mojahedin of Iran a legitimate resistance movement – Lord Slynn

Lord Slynn of HadleyNCRI – The Rt. Hon. Lord Slynn of Hadley and Professor Jean-Yves de Cara have visited Iraq twice in the past year to study in situ the plethora of documents and evidence concerning the legal status of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). Thousands of members of the PMOI reside at Camp Ashraf, located about 100 km north-east of Baghdad. The following excerpts from the legal opinion by Lord Slynn and Professor de Cara show their view on the subject:
Because of some of the past military operations of the Mojahedin, it may be considered that they enjoyed recognition as insurgents. Such recognition is a unilateral act by which a State acknowledged a factual situation and relationship between the State and insurgents fighting against the incumbent government of another State.
The People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran took several limited military actions against military installations in Iran from the Iraqi territory prior to the 1988 cease-fire between the two countries, then they later restricted their activities a) to self-defence of their camps and people in Iraq that have been targets of military actions by the Iranian government and b) to political propaganda to Iran calling for a democratic regime in that country.  For that reason and to that purpose the Iraqi government recognised the PMOI as a resistance movement.
It seems that this status was based on a verbal agreement between the Iraqi government and the PMOI who are entitled to enter and reside in Iraq and enjoy their freedom of action and independence.  This is supported by a general practice of the Iraqi authorities and by some documents:  a statement by the President of Iraq on June 15, 1986:  “the Iraqi leadership respects the Iranian Resistance and its political and ideological independence and freedom of action of this resistance  in its actions and movements to achieve its objectives … The relations between Iraq and the Iranian Resistance are based on peace, mutual respect to national sovereignty and respect for each nation’s ideological and political choice”.
PMOI were allocated by the Iraqi government various places to set up their camps and offices; the Iraqi authorities consider that “sites belonging to the PMOI are sites that the government of Iraq has allowed this organisation to use without any interference”.
PMOI were allowed to broadcast in Iraq and outside Iraq.
PMOI were allowed to carry out military and political training in their camps.
Those elements make clear that the Mojahedin were regarded as a resistance movement.
Several precedents of such recognition may be found in the past. The French resistance movement had also been recognised as such before it was regarded as a government.  In a more recent past, other movements of resistance have been recognised as such: FLN of Algeria during the rebellion against France, SWAPO in Namibia and others which might have fled out the territory of the State against which they have been fighting by force or politically.