US Takes Iranian Group Off Terror List

Posted September 28th, 2012 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has taken the Iranian group Mujahedin-e Khalq and its aliases off its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The State Department announced the decision Friday, saying that the government has also revoked the group's designation as a global terrorist. Both decisions are effective immediately.

The written statement explains that U.S. entities may now engage in transactions with the MEK without obtaining a license.

It says the decision was made in accordance with U.S. laws, taking into account the group's public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed terrorist acts by the MEK in more than a decade and its cooperation in the peaceful closure of its paramilitary base at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The State Department stressed that serious concerns about the organization remain, particularly regarding allegations of abuse committed against its own members.

The Mujahedin-e Khalq was founded in the 1960s to oppose the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran, but took up arms against the country's new clerical rulers after the Islamic revolution of 1979. Its members had provided security services to Saddam Hussein from the camps in Iraq. The United States listed the group as a foreign terrorist organization during the war in Iraq. The government of Iraq wants to expel the group, but no country other than Iran will accept it. Iran granted MEK members an amnesty in 2003.

The group's supporters have urged the United States to recognize it as legitimate opposition to the Iranian government.