EU court annuls PMOI designation

Dec. 4, 2008 at 8:53 PM
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LUXEMBOURG, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A European court Thursday said for the third time the European Union had not offered enough proof to blacklist the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran.

The European Court of First Instance, in its first one-day turnaround, found the EU had "violated the rights of defense" of the PMOI, a dissident group seeking the ouster of the current Iranian regime, adding Europe had not provided sufficient grounds to include the group on its list of terrorist entities.

Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political arm of the PMOI, hailed the decision as a victory for the group's efforts to become de-listed.

The group was included in several national blacklists in part for its activities in the 1980s. The PMOI renounced violence in 2001 and has campaigned aggressively against its inclusion on terrorist lists.

"With this judgment, the PMOI is no longer in the EU terrorist list and cannot be re-listed," she said. "It is now incumbent upon the (European) Council to announce publicly that the PMOI is not on the list."

Europe in its July blacklist review decided to retain the listing of the PMOI based on information Paris submitted regarding the activity of two PMOI members in March and November 2007. The court said the council has failed to offer "specific reasons" why the actions of alleged PMOI members should be attributed to the PMOI itself.

"Now it is time that the West ends its biggest policy blunder about Iran by ending all restrictions against this movement," Rajavi said.

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