US delists MEK, does ‘not see as viable Iran opposition’ group

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The State Department announced Friday that, as anticipated, it has decided to remove the controversial Iranian group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The delisting of the anti-regime group is effective as of Friday (September 28), and was largely made on humanitarian grounds, the State Department said.

“We do not see the MEK as a viable opposition movement,” a senior State Department official stressed in a call to journalists Friday. “We have no evidence or confidence the MEK could promote the democratic values we would like to see in Iran. … We continue to have serious concerns about abuses the group has committed to its  own members.”
“I can tell you this decision is made on the merits, not based on” the MEK’s high-profile US lobbying campaign, the senior State Department official added.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to delist the MEK as compensation for the group’s almost complete evacuation of its historic base in Iraq, a US official told Al-Monitor last week.

The official said the decision reflected the fact that all but 200 MEK members have now relocated from Camp Ashraf north of Baghdad to a facility near Baghdad airport, Camp Liberty, where they will be processed for resettlement out of Iraq by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“With today’s actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992,” the State Department said in a press statement.  “The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.”

 

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