Mujahedeen Khlaq off UK terror list; Tehran miffed

The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK)—also known as the Mujahedeen Khlaq Organization (MKO), the Peoples Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) and the National Council of Resistance (NCR)—was ordered removed from the UK’s list of “terrorist organizations,” potentially opening the way for the EU to follow suit. The London Court of Appeal denied the British government permission to challenge a November 2007 decision by a panel of judges that ordered the removal of MEK from the list, with Lord Chief Justice Phillips finding no evidence of involvement in terrorism.

The court in London ruled there were “no valid grounds” to contend that the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission made legal errors when it ordered the removal of the MEK from the blacklist. Throwing out the appeal, filed by British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, is the final legal avenue regarding this case, making the organization legal in the United Kingdom. The group is expected to next challenge its status on the EU terrorist list. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said after the ruling, “Europe must now recognize the Iranian resistance for democracy in Iran.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said his government “strongly condemns the removal of Monafeqin [literally ‘Hypocrites,’ the official name the Iranian government uses for the MEK] from a terrorist list and regards this ruling as political, legally baseless and a sign of Britain’s dual approach to terrorism.” (Middle East Times, May 8; NCR, May 7)

See our last post on Iran.