Iran General NewsIranian Opposition Balks at Terror Label

Iranian Opposition Balks at Terror Label

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AP: The main opposition to Iran’s government should not be labeled a terrorist organization, Iranian protesters said Friday. At a rally in the Capitol, thousands of Iranians gathered to call on world governments to denounce the terrorist label that has been applied to the People’s Mujahedeen, or Mujahedeen Khalq. Associated Press

By EMILY FREDRIX

WASHINGTON – The main opposition to Iran’s government should not be labeled a terrorist organization, Iranian protesters said Friday.

At a rally in the Capitol, thousands of Iranians gathered to call on world governments to denounce the terrorist label that has been applied to the People’s Mujahedeen, or Mujahedeen Khalq.

If any group deserves to be called terrorists, they say, it’s the Islamic fundamentalist government whose power in Iran the Mujahedeen opposes.

“Every day they are killing people and stoning people. We don’t believe in that. Nobody believes in that,” said Mansoor Askari, who came to the protest with his wife and two young sons from Miami.

The United States has considered the key Iranian resistance group a terrorist organization since 1997. That label was applied to appease the government in power, the group says, and the European Union is doing the same thing in an agreement reached last week with Tehran.

“We want justice. We want peace. We want Mujahedeen off the list,” protesters chanted as they marched toward Capitol Hill.

Organized by the Virginia-based Council for Freedom and Democracy in Iran, the march attracted Iranian expatriates, even entire families, from around the country.

It was timed to coincide with next Thursday’s meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, an arm of the U.N. Security Council that could punish Tehran for refusing to stop producing nuclear weapons.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., told the group that Iran will become the center of attention, as Iraq is now, and the regime must be toppled.

“Your resistance is justified and we must support it,” Filner said.

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