The European Union says it will remove an Iranian opposition group from
its terrorist list, thus freeing the group's frozen assets. The move,
announced Monday, is likely to increase tensions between Brussels and
The European Union's decision to remove the opposition
group, the People's Mojahedin of Iran, from its list of terrorist
organizations was expected.
EU foreign policy chief Javier
Solana told reporters the EU was simply abiding by a previous
resolution from the European Court of Justice. The decision is expected
to take effect Tuesday.
The People's Mojahedin began as a
leftist Islamist opposition group to the late Shah of Iran and became
the most prominent overseas opposition movement to Iran's Islamic
regime. It's armed wing was based in Iraq. It's political branch is
located outside Paris. It remains banned in the United States.
U.S. State Department spokesman said there is no indication the United
States will change its policy toward the Iranian opposition group.
Earlier this month, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice renewed
the People's Mojahedin's terror designation for one year.
Islam, a senior analyst at the European Policy Center in Brussels said
the EU's decision will undoubtedly anger the Iranian government.
Iranians will be quite angry obviously at the European Union. They will
not like it, and I think there will be public statements of anger and
possibly outrage as well," Islam said. "I think what is not going to
change is the European Union's policy toward Iran, which is based on
constructive engagement ... and is also backed up by sanctions at the
Islam said it would be in Iran's interest not
to react too strongly to the EU's move on the resistance group. He also
cautioned Tehran not to burn its bridges toward the west in general,
particularly given the new Obama administration in Washington, which
has yet to clearly spell out its policy toward Iran.
of angry demonstrators rallied in front of the French Embassy in Tehran
on Sunday to protest removal of the People's Mojahedin from the EU