EU urged to take Iranian opposition off banned list

Europe’s governments were urged today to remove Iran’s opposition movement from a list of proscribed terrorist organisations.

The move follows the end of a seven-year legal battle by the People’s Mujahadeen of Iran (PMOI) during which EU courts have ruled there is no justification for the organisation appearing on the blacklist.

In 2006 the European Court of Justice said the decision to include the PMOI on the EU list was “unlawful”.

Today PMOI lawyer David Vaughan QC told a meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels that EU governments now had no choice but to take the PMOI off the EU list.

He said it had been a “great honour” to fight the case, adding: “It is easy to win a case if you have good case.”

The next job was to persuade the member states that the legitimacy of keeping the PMOI on the EU list depended entirely on the validity of The UK's decision to put the organisation on the UK list: “Once the UK measures were declared unlawful on May 7, the European measures had no legitimate basis in law.”

British Labour peer Lord Clarke, one of 35 MPs and lords named in a legal challenge to the British government, said keeping the PMOI on the EU list was now “wrong and indefensible”.

The organisation was the “democratic face of Iran”, he told the Brussels meeting.

Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said the issue had to be on the agenda at the next meeting of EU ministers: “The EU must respect the rule of law and recognise the Iranian resistance, which is striving for democracy.”

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