AP: An Iranian activist urged German lawmakers on Monday to help remove an Iranian opposition group from the EU's list of terrorist organizations.
The Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) – An Iranian activist urged German lawmakers on Monday to help remove an Iranian opposition group from the EU's list of terrorist organizations.
"This terror listing is unjust, unlawful," Maryam Rajavi told reporters as she argued on behalf of the blacklisted People's Mujahedeen of Iran, or PMOI.
Rajavi is head of the Paris-based Iranian opposition group National Council Resistance of Iran, which has struggled for nearly 30 years against Iran's Islamic establishment. Her organization also is an umbrella group that includes PMOI.
"We expect the elected representatives of the German people, members of the Bundestag, to call on the German government to end this unjust label," Rajavi said, speaking through her translator.
The PMOI participated in Iran's Islamic Revolution but later became opposed to the clericalgovernment.
Members of the group moved to Iraq in the early 1980s and fought Iran's Islamic rulers from there until the United States invaded in 2003. U.S. troops have since disarmed thousands of PMOI members, and the group said it renounced violence several years ago.
In June, British lawmakers removed the People's Mujahedeen of Iran from their country's terror list, after a seven-year campaign by the group. The move gives it more freedom to organize and raise money in Britain.
Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the National Council Resistance of Iran in Germany, said 150 of the 612 lawmakers in the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, have signed a petition calling for PMOI to be removed from the EU terror list.
Joerg Tauss, a legislator for Germany's center-left Social Democrats, said he hopes the petition will help change the perception of PMOI's tactics.
"I do not share the assessment that the PMOI operates as a terrorist organization," Tauss said.
The group also is on a U.S. terrorist blacklist.
Rajavi said the group's status in the United States and the European Union is hindering its ability to fight for regime change in Iran.