The U.S. State Department said Friday it removed Mujahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian group, from its list of foreign terror organizations.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to the decision, which was reported last week, as a result of what she said was the group’s renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism for more than a decade and its cooperation in closing Camp Ashraf, its paramilitary base in Iraq.
“The [State] Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992,” it said in a statement. It “also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.”
With the delisting effective Friday, the group’s property is no longer blocked and Americans can engage in transactions with it without a license to do so, the State Department said.
The MeK was placed on the list of foreign terror organizations in 1997 because of its alliance with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and an assassination campaign it launched against U.S.officials in Tehran prior to the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979.
MeK engaged in an aggressive lobbying campaign in Washington over the past two years — enlisting officials from both major political parties – to win its removal from the State Department’s list.
An NBC News report from February said the group, working alongside Israel, is behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. The group flatly denied the allegation.
A U.S. appeals court ruled in June that the State Department had to decide by October whether to keep or remove MeK from the list, or it would be delisted by the ruling.
UPDATE: Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance, a Paris-based group of which MeK is the principal member, said in a statement the group intends to better introduce itself and its goals to the American people now that it has been removed from the foreign terror list.[..]
Correction: The delisting decision came Friday, not Thursday. The National Council of Resistance is Paris-based, but not French.
Samuel Rubenfeld, Wall Street Journal