Iran slams PMOI delisting

Oct. 1, 2012 at 9:57 AM
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TEHRAN, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The United States removed an Iranian opposition group from a terrorism database to use them as a tool against Tehran, an Iranian military commander said.

The U.S. State Department removed the People's Mujahedin of Iran from its Foreign Terrorist Organization list Friday. The group was linked to attacks on U.S. interests in the region but renounced violence when it surrendered to U.S. forces in Iraq in 2003.

Iranian Brig. Gen. Ramazen Sharif, a spokesman for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency the delisting was a de facto move against Tehran.

"The U.S. removed the group from its black list with the aim of using the PMOI in creating insecurity and acts of sabotage in border areas (of Iran) and other regions where the Islamic Republic of Iran has interests," he said Monday.

PMOI members are relocating from their Camp Ashraf enclave in Diyala province to a Baghdad location.

The State Department said the U.S. government wouldn't "overlook or forget" the group's terrorist past.

"The department also has serious concerns about the PMOI as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members," the statement read.

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