Senior MP: Parliament not to allow MKO supporters to visit Iran

A senior Iranian lawmaker cautioned that the parliament would allow a French parliamentary delegation which has filed a request for visiting Iran to take the trip since one of the group members is a supporter of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, NCRI or PMOI).

"The time for the visit has not been specified and it has just been under discussion," member of Iran-France Parliamentary Friendship Group Amir Khojasteh told FNA on Wednesday.

Stressing that Iran is willing to expand relations with other states based on mutual respect, he said any country which shows hostile behavior towards Tehran will be deprived of bilateral ties with Iran.

Asked about the presence of one of the supporters of MKO terrorist group in the French parliamentary delegation which has asked for a visit to Iran, Khojasteh said, "The parliament will no way allow the advocates of the MKO and Rajavi (the MKO ringleader) to visit Iran."

European countries have shown willingness for the development of relations and cooperation with Iran following the implementation of Iran’s November nuclear deal with world powers in Geneva.

In February, French Ambassador to Tehran Bruno Foucher said his country is ready to broaden its trade cooperation with Iran.

The envoy said the French delegation of more than 100 businessmen visiting Iran is preparing the grounds for more trade ties between Tehran and Paris.

The ambassador was addressing a joint meeting of Iranian and French businessmen in Tehran on Tuesday.

Foucher noted that more French companies and enterprises are willing to invest in Iran.

“Some of the companies represented in this delegation were already active in Iran’s market and they are well familiar with this market. New companies have also come to Tehran to get familiar with Iran’s market,” said the top French diplomat.

“I hope that this meeting will clear the way for the development of relations between Iranian and French trade and industrial sectors and remove obstacles to better ties,” said Foucher.

But France is among the few countries which have sheltered the MKO members and a number of French officials and parliamentarians have supported the terrorist group.

The MKO, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and western targets.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by the MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who eventually took the MKO off the US terror list.

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September 2012, one week after the then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.


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