British Delisting of Main Iranian Opposition: A nail in the coffin of the Iranian Regime
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 fence-sitters. 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 designation. 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
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