Ban on MKO chief`s entry to UK expected to remain in force

Head of MKO terrorist group Maryam Rajavi is expected to remain excluded from the UK despite the EU dropping the previously outlawed group from its proscribed list.We are not satisfied that the MeK has done enough to distance itself from its past. There is no dispute about its previous terrorist activity: it claimed responsibility for a large number of violent attacks inside Iran for a number of years," Marston
British Foreign Office said that although it does not discuss individual cases of exclusion, the government continues to believe that the MKO or MeK, as it prefers to call it, was ‘responsible for vile acts of terrorism over a long period’.
"If an individual has made public statements in the past supporting or condoning terrorism, and has not publicly and unambiguously apologized and refuted such statements, then this would constitute grounds for not admitting an individual into the UK," Foreign Office spokesman Barry Marston said.
"We are not satisfied that the MeK has done enough to distance itself from its past. There is no dispute about its previous terrorist activity: it claimed responsibility for a large number of violent attacks inside Iran for a number of years," Marston told IRNA.
Rajavi was subject to an exclusion order back in October 1997, which banned her entry to the UK on the grounds that the organization contained a large faction of terrorists. The Foreign Office at the time said her presence was ‘not conducive to the public good’.
The British government insists that the deproscription of the MKO was ‘a judicial and not a political decision’ both in the EU as it was earlier in the UK and that it opposed its removal.
"We have made it clear that we were disappointed by the verdict of the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission and of the Court of Appeal, but we had to comply with their decisions," Marston said about the British decision last July.
"Equally, given the clear judgement of the Court of First Instance on December 4, 2008, annulling the MeK’s listing in the EU, the EU had no choice but to observe and respect the court’s judgement," he added.
Asked whether the UK government still considered the MKO as a terrorist organization, he said that there were still ‘serious reservations about the MeK’s assertion that it represents a democratic opposition in exile’.
"We see no evidence of popular support for the MeK in Iran, because of its responsibility for terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of many Iranian citizens, and because it fought alongside Iraqi forces against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war," Marston said.
Regarding the potential that the controversial decision could have an adverse effect on Iran’s relations with the UK and the EU as a whole, he stressed that it should ‘not be seen as a political decision’.
"We would not hesitate to re-proscribe the MeK if circumstances changed and evidence emerged that it was concerned in terrorism," the spokesman said.
He also quoted Home Office Minister Tony McNulty insisting last June during the debate on the deproscription of the MKO that the UK government have ‘no plans to meet its representatives’.

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