EU lifts ban on MKO terrorists
EU lifts ban on MKO terrorists(A day after the arrest of their suicide bomber in Iraq)
The European Union has reportedly decided to remove the anti-Iran Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) from its terror blacklist.
“The deal has been done. [MKO] will be delisted,” an EU diplomat said on conditions of anonymity on Thursday.
He, however, asserted that the consensus must win final approval from EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Monday in order to become fully operational.
The Mujahedin Khalq Organization, which identifies itself as a Marxist-Islamist guerilla army, was founded in Iran in the 1960s but was exiled some twenty years later for carrying out numerous acts of terrorism inside the country.
The terrorist group is especially notorious for the help it extended to former dictator Saddam Hussein during the war Iraq imposed on Iran (1980-1988).
The group masterminded a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, one of which was the 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party, in which more than 72 Iranian officials were killed, including then Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report condemns the MKO for running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations. According to report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
In recent months, high-ranking MKO members have been lobbying governments around the world to acknowledge the dissidents as those of a legitimate opposition group.
The group has a 40-year history of involvement in terrorist activities. It assassinated several Americans in Iran in the 1970s and criticized the founder of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for releasing the American diplomats in 1981, arguing instead that the hostages of the embassy takeover should have been executed.
The United States and Canada have refused to drop the MKO from their lists of terrorist organizations.