French Parliamentary Delegation to Have No Unscheduled Programs in Iran
Head of the French parliamentary delegation that is on a visit to Tehran said they will not have any impromptu meetings during their stay in Iran.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Senator Philippe Marini said the delegation’s itinerary will be limited to the programs arranged by the Iranian parliament and the French embassy in Tehran.
This comes after EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton’s secret meetings with a number of Iranians in March drew criticism from Iranian officials.
During her official visit to Iran in March, Ashton had a meeting at the Austrian embassy in Tehran with some individuals convicted of having a hand in the 2009 post-election events.
Senator Philippe Marini further said he and his colleagues have come to Iran for high-level talks with Iranian officials.
“This is a very important period for ties between Iran and France,” he said, expressing hope for a major boost in the two countries’ relations in 2014.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Marini rejected reports about a member of the delegation, Senator Philippe Dallier’s support for the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), saying that Dallier had unwittingly attended an MKO meeting in Paris.
“I suppose Dallier fell in MKO trap like many others,” he said, adding “we are well aware … how unpopular this group can be in Iran.”
On his participation in an MKO gathering in France a long time ago, Senator Dallier told Tasnim that he had no idea it was a rally staged by the terrorist group.
He said he once was invited to a rally in his constituency, a city near Paris, along with some other elected officials.
“All of a sudden, I realized I am sitting next to individuals from other countries. Actually, that day I went there, a general gathering, without any specific plans… At the end of the program I left and have had no contacts with the group ever since,” he said.
The MKO — listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community — fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq, fought on the side of Saddam Hussein during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-88), and was given a camp by Saddam.
The group has been behind numerous acts of terror against Iranian civilians and officials, and was involved in the 1991 bloody repression of Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq, and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds in the country’s north.