Iran TerrorismGroup says Iranian rebel group falsely accused of terrorism...

Group says Iranian rebel group falsely accused of terrorism by U.S.

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AP: An independent policy group urged the Bush
administration to remove an Iranian exile organization
opposed to Islamic rule in Tehran from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. Associated Press

By GEORGE GEDDA

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – An independent policy group urged the Bush administration to remove an Iranian exile organization opposed to Islamic rule in Tehran from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The Iran Policy Group, formed in January to influence U.S. policy toward Iran, described as baseless terrorist allegations cited by the administration against the People’s Mujahedeen, also known as the MEK.

In a “White Paper,” the group said removal of the MEK from the list “would reinforce the sincerity of President Bush’s promise that America stands with the people of Iran in their struggle to liberate themselves.”

Such a step also would signal the “unified resolution of the U.S. administration to support a policy of regime change in Tehran,” the report said.

In addition, it would put Iran’s clerical leaders on notice that “a new option is now on the table, and that America is not limited to an unfeasible military option or the failed diplomatic option.”

The “diplomatic option” referred to is the thus far unsuccessful European Union effort to persuade Iran to suspend a program that could give the country a nuclear weapons capability. The EU effort has strong U.S. backing. Iran denies that it is working on nuclear weapons.

The People’s Mujahedeen is the primary member of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The State Department put the MEK on the list of foreign terrorist organizations years ago based on a series of allegations.

It has said that under former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s rule, the MEK frequently used Iraqi territory to launch terrorist attacks into Iran.

It also has charged the MEK with supporting the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and with collaborating with Saddam to suppress Kurds and Shiites in Iraq. Saddam’s secular government drew mainly from the Sunni sect of Islam. Iran and Iraq have Shiite majorities, and the current Iraqi government is largely Shiite.

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