British Delisting of Main Iranian Opposition: A nail in the coffin of the Iranian Regime

Nov 30, 2007, 00:00 ET from Iran Policy Committee

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On 30 November 2007, an
 event of great significance took place in London. A British court -- the
 Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission -- ordered the Government to
 remove the main Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK),
 from the British list of terrorist organizations.
     The delisting would yield coercive diplomacy benefits for the West,
 stemming from the impact within Iran of engaging the main, democratic
 opposition groups. The news of court-ordered delisting is invigorating
 activists opposed to the regime who need a signal that they have support
 from the international community, moving those who in the past have been
     The MEK has also provided intelligence to the West on the Iranian
 nuclear weapons program, Iran's subversion of Iraq, and Tehran's export of
 terrorism throughout the world. In addition to increasing intelligence
 collection, the delisting of the MEK would provide the United Kingdom with
 a powerful source of leverage against the Iranian regime to jumpstart
 coercive diplomacy.
     Because the European Union listing of the MEK was originally initiated
 by the British Government, whose listing has been overruled, it should
 prompt the European Union to review the EU proscription of the MEK.
     In December 2006, the European Court of Justice (the judicial branch of
 the EU) ruled that the EU proscription, based on the British listing, was
 flawed; but the European Council (the executive branch of the EU)
 circumvented the court ruling. In response, Member of European Parliament
 Paulo Casaca said, "Violating the rule of law and placing the Council's
 opinion above that of the highest EU courts in yet another pathetic attempt
 to appease Iran is both scandalous and shameful."
     According to Professor Raymond Tanter, President of the Iran Policy
 Committee, "If the European Union were to again maintain the terrorist
 designation despite the overturning of the British designation, it would be
 an even greater shame." Prof. Tanter submitted expert witness testimony on
 reasons for delisting. The Court requested Prof. Tanter's testimony because
 of the extensive opposition group research conducted by the Iran Policy
 Committee. In order to reinforce transatlantic unity, the British decision
 and EU reconsideration should prompt a review of the U.S. terrorist
     Prof. Tanter asserts,
     "It is nonsensical for the United States to have terrorist designations
 simultaneously on the Iranian regime's terrorist arm--Islamic Revolutionary
 Guards Corps--and on the regime's main opposition group. The listing of the
 Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity, the British court order
 delisting the MEK, and prospective EU delisting of the MEK foreshadow
 delisting of the MEK by the U.S. State Department."
     According to Prof. Tanter's colleague on the Iran Policy Committee
 Advisory Council, Gen. Paul Vallely (USA, Ret.),
     "The U.S. listing of the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group and
 the British court order to delist the regime's main opposition are the
 first two nails in the coffin of the radical rulers in Tehran. Subsequent
 U.S. and EU delisting of the Iranian opposition could represent the final
 two nails in the coffin."

SOURCE Iran Policy Committee