Monday

27th May 2019

EU terror list outpacing court rulings

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.

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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.

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