Accessibility links

Iran Summons EU Envoys Over Terror Blacklist Action

A protest in Tehran against the EU's decision to remove the PMOI from its blacklist

A protest in Tehran against the EU's decision to remove the PMOI from its blacklist

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran has summoned ambassadors of the European Union to protest against an EU decision to remove an exiled Iranian opposition group from a list of banned terrorist organizations, the official IRNA news agency reported.

On January 26, foreign ministers of the 27-nation EU approved removing the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI) from the list. The decision follows a number of EU court rulings against its seven-year inclusion on the blacklist.

Iran, which accuses the group of terrorist activities, has condemned the move.

The EU is also involved in a dispute with Iran over its nuclear ambitions., in which the West accuses Tehran of seeking atomic weapons, a charge Iran denies.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns the double standards of the European Union regarding the phenomenon of terrorism," Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari told the ambassadors who were summoned to the ministry.

An EU diplomat confirmed that he and other envoys were summoned. Safari described the EU move as "a political and unacceptable action and expressed his deep regret that some of these EU countries had separated their path from the international community in fighting terrorism," IRNA reported.

The PMOI began as a leftist-Islamist opposition to the late shah of Iran and has bases in Iraq. Shortly after the 1979 revolution that toppled the shah, it fell out with the clerical establishment that now rules the Islamic Republic.

Western analysts say the PMOI's support is limited in Iran as many Iranians cannot forgive the group for siding with Iraq during the 1980s war with Iran. The group remains banned in the United States.

The EU list includes groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers.