November 18, 2017

Court Overturns EU Freeze On Iran Exile Group’s Funds

Wall Street Journal
December 13, 2006

BRUSSELS — The European Court of Justice overturned a European Union decision to freeze the assets of Mujahedin-e Khalq, an exiled Iranian resistance movement that is on the bloc’s terrorism blacklist.

The court’s ruling annuls a 2002 decision to freeze all European assets of the Paris-based group, also known by the acronym MEK. It was the first time an appeal to the EU’s terrorism list was successful at the Luxembourg-based court.

EU legal officials stressed that EU governments wouldn’t immediately remove the exile group from their terrorism list, arguing they had to study the full ruling of the court before any decisions will be made.

“For the time being they are on the list,” said Jean-Claude Piris, legal counsel to the 25 EU governments. “But we have to examine it as soon as possible.”

EU governments said in a statement that the court’s ruling didn’t call into question the EU’s antiterrorism list, which includes top terrorist groups and suspects like Osama bin Laden, Palestinian group Hamas, and al Qaeda. It added that the judgment also didn’t call into question a decision by EU governments that MEK is a terrorist organization.

The U.S. also lists the group as a terrorist organization. The group, founded by students at Tehran University in the 1960s, insists it advocates the overthrow of Iran’s hard-line clerical regime in Tehran by peaceful means.