Midland MP (Mr. Binley) lobbies for terrorist group
They were branded murderous terrorists who indiscriminately killed civilians, politicians and soldiers.
But now a group closely linked to Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MeK) – the People’s Mujaheddin of Iran – is being represented by a Midland MP.
Brian Binley went on a six-day trip to Washington as a lobbyist for the National Council for Resistance in Iran (NCRI).
The group is described as the political wing of MeK, and paid for the MP’s visit.
Both organisations are on the US Department of State’s official list of foreign terrorist organisations, alongside Al Qaida, the Real IRA and ETA.
But Mr Binley spent his time in America in July 2006 talking to US politicians about the future of Iran, and spoke on behalf of NCRI.
The MP for Northampton South later declared the trip in the parliamentary Register of Members’ interests.
MeK has been condemned in the west for a campaign of terror lasting three decades.
In the 1970s, its members murdered western soldiers and civilians working on defence projects in Iran.
Throughout the 1980s, the group carried out bombings and assassination attempts on Iranian government workers, killing dozens of civilians.
It helped Saddam Hussein’s brutal campaign.
In 1992 the group attacked 13 Iranian embassies in capital cities around the world.
The organisation has been in limbo since leaders ordered it to surrender to coalition troops during the last Iraq war. The group also had its American office shut down in 2002 and its assets frozen after a court decided it was still classified as a terrorist group.
At the time, a Department of State said NCRI “functions as part of MeK and has supported MeK’s acts of terrorism.”
The NCRI claims it is a legitimate government-in-exile opposing the Iranian regime.
But opponents describe it as a cult based around its leader Massoud Rajavi, who disappeared during the 2003 Iraqi invasion. His wife Maryam is now president of the group.
Mr Binley, who was once photographed meeting Mrs Rajavi, is currently on holiday and could not be contacted last night.
But a source in his office said: “NCRI has been de-listed as a terrorist group by the European Union. Brian, along with a large number of other MPs, has been pushing for a similar change here, and in the States.”
BY TOM SCOTNEY,Sunday Mercury, Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd