The People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (Mujahedeen Khalq Organization) has appealed to be taken off the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations, accusing the EU of stifling Iran’s legitimate opposition. The organization has also launched suit against EU governments for 1 million euros ($1.35 million) in damages at the European Court of First Instance. The EU imposed an asset freeze on the group in 2002 and reaffirmed the ban in January. “The only Iranian terrorism that exists is that of the state,” Jean-Pierre Spitzer, a lawyer for the group, told a Brussels press conference today.
The People’s Mujahedeen, formed in 1965 to resist the Shah, says the EU blacklisted it to appease the Iranian regime as part of efforts to dissuade Tehran from seeking nuclear weapons. The European Court of First Instance, the EU’s second-highest court, threw out the ban on procedural grounds in December, leading the bloc’s 27 governments to reinstate it in January. The EU reviews its terrorist list every six months.
“The only evidence that they even allege against us is up to 2001,” said David Vaughan, another lawyer for the group. “Decisions have to be based on current matters, not on what happened six years ago.” (Bloomberg, May 12, via the National Council of Resistance of Iran, May 11)