February 19, 2018

Top EU court upholds removal of Iran’s PMOI from terror list


Luxembourg – The European Union’s top judges on Wednesday endorsed a lower-court ruling that called for the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) to be removed from the bloc’s list of terrorist organizations.

Founded in 1965, the PMOI operated a military wing in its early years, but says it renounced violence in June 2001 and now advocates the political overthrow of Iran’s current government.

France had appealed the lower-court decision, after managing in 2008 to convince its EU counterparts to keep the PMOI’s assets frozen, even after it was taken off a British list of terrorist organizations.

But the European Court of Justice agreed with the EU’s General Court that the bloc had violated the PMOI’s right to defend itself by not notifying it of new investigation information brought forward by French authorities.

It was ‘bound, imperatively, to ensure that PMOI’s rights of the defence were observed,’ the Luxembourg institution noted.

‘The court emphasizes that the protection offered by this notification is fundamental and essential to the rights of defence,’ it added.

Iran regards PMOI as a terrorist group and accuses it of involvement in the assassinations of several high-ranking Iranian officials, including the president and prime minister in the 1980s.