News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqEU lawmakers: US must help Iranian group in Iraq

EU lawmakers: US must help Iranian group in Iraq

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AP: The European Parliament urged the United States and the U.N. on Thursday to provide immediate aid to an Iranian opposition group camped near Baghdad since the 1980’s.

The Associated Press

Camp AshrafBRUSSELS (AP) – The European Parliament urged the United States and the U.N. on Thursday to provide immediate aid to an Iranian opposition group camped near Baghdad since the 1980’s.

In a nonbinding resolution, lawmakers asked the European Union to pressure the U.S. government to take the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran off the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The presence of the Iranian group – also known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq – which fought alongside Saddam during his 1980s war with Iran, has long irritated Iraq’s Shiite-led government.

The EU removed the organization from its list of banned terrorist groups last year.

The U.S. military relinquished control over Camp Ashraf and its 3,400 Iranian inhabitants last June, turning it over to Iraqi forces.

“The U.S. terror label … and unlawful transfer of Ashraf protection to Iraqi forces both constitute participation in suppression of Iranian opposition and obstruct the way for change in Iran,” Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the leading opposition group National Council of Resistance of Iran, said in a statement.

In July, a U.S. federal appeals court in Washington D.C. ordered the State Department to reconsider keeping the mujahedeen on its list, which prohibits it from raising money and obtaining other support in the United States.

The court said the U.S. government must give the group a chance to challenge claims that it continues to engage in terrorist activity or retains the capability and intent to do so.

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