EU terror list outpacing court rulings
24.10.08 @ 09:32
BRUSSELS - The People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), the country's leading opposition group, will stay on the EU's terrorist register despite a second European court ruling, as EU member states outpace the courts with fresh decisions every few months.
The European Court of First Instance verdict on Thursday (23 October) dissolved a decision taken by EU states in December 2007 to keep the PMOI on its blacklist, saying UK evidence against the group was invalid.
The terrorist register names over 60 organisations, resulting in international stigma, a freeze on EU financial assets and a ban on fund-raising.
It is managed by EU member state intelligence services meeting in a "clearing house" working group with no political or judicial oversight and with their decisions later rubber-stamped by EU ministers as EU "common positions."
The court's Thursday decision on the PMOI does not apply to a subsequent common position of July 2008, with EU member states saying that "new information concerning the group has been brought to the Council's attention [that] warrants the group's inclusion on the list."
The PMOI has appealed the July move as well, but the court is unlikely to issue a new verdict before the clearing house refreshes the list again in November or December, perpetuating the legal cycle.
The EU court in 2006 had already annulled a previous common position of 2005.
The PMOI and its Paris-based sister group, the National Resistance Council of Iran (NRCI) have been battling clearing house for six years.
The Iran group - which was responsible for bombings and attacks against the Islamic regime in Iran in the 1980s and 1990s - renounced violence in 2001 and now claims to represent the strongest pro-democratic voice in the country today.
NRCI leader Maryam Rajavi accuses the EU and US - which also calls PMOI a terrorist organisation - of restricting the Mujahedin to curry favour with Tehran in nuclear proliferation talks.
Meanwhile, Iranian diplomats say the PMOI-NRCI organisation is a dangerous Rajavi-personality cult mistrusted by ordinary Iranians, which should not be let off the hook for past actions.