HL Deb 20 October 1998 vol 593 cc140-1WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are aware of any instances documented by sources independent of the Iranian Government where civilians have been maimed or killed during military operations carried out against the Iranian regime by the Mujaheddin over recent years; what account they have taken of the statement issued by the majority of members of the United States House of Representatives on 16 September that the Mujaheddin is "legitimate opposition to the Iranian regime"; and whether they recognise the right of Iranian people to resist a dictatorship. [HL3378]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Her Majesty's Government do not recognise the National Council for Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the Mujaheddin-e-Khalq Organisation (MKO), otherwise known as the People's Mujaheddin of Iran (PMOI), is the dominant party. Her Majesty's Government remains firmly opposed to the violence practised by the MKO and to terrorism from any quarter. The MKO has claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion at the Iranian Revolutionary Court in Tehran in June, which killed at least two people. They have also claimed responsibility for the recent shooting of Mr. Lajevardi, the former head of the prison service, in his shop in the bazaar in Tehran, in which it appears that a passer-by and a friend of Mr. Lajevardi were also killed. Such attacks on unarmed individuals in public places, with the resultant deaths of passers-by, can hardly be considered as "military" actions. Her Majesty's Government condemned both attacks unreservedly.

The MKO remains on the US State Department list of terrorist organisations despite the recent statement by the House of Representatives.

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