Iran protests against Britain’s decision to remove MKO from terrorist list
Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador Geoffrey Adams to "strongly protest" against a UK Court of Appeal ruling that supported the removal of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization from Britain's list of banned terror organizations, reported Tehran Times.
Last Wednesday, three senior judges at Britain's Court of Appeal rejected the British government's request to challenge an order that it take the MKO off its list of terrorist organizations.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Mehdi Safari described the verdict as "political and unacceptable".
Safari pointed to the MKO's major crimes against Iran, saying the group planted bombs throughout the country and killed a large number of Iranians over the past 30 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and warned Britain of the repercussions the decision would have on Tehran-London relations.
"The Court of Appeal's decision proves that the British government is applying double standards toward terrorism and toward the Mujahedin Khalq Organization as an example of terrorism. This is not acceptable for a European government that claims to be fighting against terrorism," he stated.
Adams rejected claims that Britain had revised its policy on the MKO, saying, "We still regard the organization as a terrorist group."
He expressed support for Iran's view on the MKO's "terrorist nature" and said he would convey Iran's protest to the British government.
"As the British secretary for foreign affairs earlier stated, the government believes that the MKO's terror acts are shameful and Britain's official policy is based on having no relations with this group," the ambassador added.
Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki called on Britain to swiftly extradite a terrorist involved in the 1980 siege of the Iranian Embassy in London.
Six gunmen stormed the Iranian Embassy in London on April 30, 1980 and held 26 diplomats hostage. After a six-day stand-off, the Special Air Service (SAS) launched a dramatic attack on the hostage-takers, ending the siege with 19 hostages freed, seven dead, and many injured.
He expressed regret over the tragic incident which he said took place due to the then "British government's neglect and its support for terrorism."
"We hope the incident's one remaining terrorist will be extradited to the Islamic Republic for a fair trial," the foreign minister added.