German MPs Seek to Remove Iran Group′s ″Terror Tag″ | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 25.11.2008
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German MPs Seek to Remove Iran Group's "Terror Tag"

German lawmakers called on the government to support the removal of an exiled Iranian opposition group from the European Union's terror list.

Former Solicitor General of the United Kingdom Lord Archer of Sandwell addresses a press conference in Brussels, Thursday March 1, 2007, to announce the response of the People's Mojahedin of Iran to the European Union Council of Ministers in protest to keeping the PMOI on EU terror list.

In 2007, PMOI protested the EU's decision to list it as a terror group

A petition signed by 150 parliamentarians from across the German political spectrum on Monday, Nov. 24, called on the government to remove the People's Mujahadeen from the EU's list of terror groups.

"We call on the government, in cooperation with the (French) presidency of the European Union, to work to have this terror tag removed," said a petition signed by about a quarter of the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament.

The deputies cited recent court decisions in Britain and at the European level finding no link between the main Iranian opposition group and terrorist activity.

Group formed to oppose Shah

The People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, or PMOI, is considered a terrorist organization by the EU and the United States.

Founded in 1965 with the aim of replacing first the Shah and then the clerical regime in Iran, PMOI has in the past operated an army inside Iran.

After being thrown out of Iran in the 1980s, its members sought refuge abroad, notably in Iraq where they established the military Camp Ashraf in the Diyala province.

The group was financed by Saddam Hussein to carry out attacks against the regime in Tehran. The US military disarmed the PMOI after the overthrow of Saddam in April 2003.

Petition cites "brutal regime," oppression

The strongly worded petition signed by the deputies said the "brutal regime" in Iran used the terror label to justify the oppression of the 4,000 people at Camp Ashraf and urged US-led forces in Iraq to protect them.

Maryam Radjavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political arm of the PMOI, told reporters she was "profoundly grateful" for the deputies' support, following similar moves in Britain, France, Belgium and Denmark.

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