Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad has lashed out at the European Union over what he said was its "hypocrisy" in listing Iranian nationals and organisations in its "terrorist list" while allowing actual terrorists to operate freely.
"Unfortunately, European countries have become a safe haven and a shelter not only for the MKO, but also for representatives of new terrorist and separatist groups which are openly pursuing Iran's disintegration," Baeidinejad said in a tweet, referring to the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MKO), a self-described Islamic socialist group whose military wing has actively looked to overthrow the Iranian government.
According to the diplomat, the freedom to operate which these Iranian terrorist groups enjoy in Europe has given them opportunities to plot attacks inside Iran, and otherwise work to try to threaten the country.
"The Iranian people do not see the prospect of giving these hateful groups [safe haven]…as a manifestation of political freedom," Baeidinejad stressed.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused EU members, including the Danes, Dutch and French, of harbouring MKO militants, whom he said had killed 12,000 Iranians.
Europeans, incl Denmark, Holland & France, harbor MEK—who killed 12000 Iranians & abetted Saddam's crimes against Iraqi Kurds—as well as other terrorists staging murder of innocent Iranians from Europe. Accusing Iran won't absolve Europe of responsibility for harboring terrorists pic.twitter.com/pUXmSjmgyB— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) 8 января 2019 г.
Founded in 1965, the MKO took part in the overthrowal of the Shah, and continued to operate following the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The United States, the European Union, and Canada removed their designation of the MKO as a terrorist group between 2009 and 2012. Iran and Iraq continue to view the MKO as a terrorist organisation. According to US journalist Seymour Hersh, despite any perceived ideological differences, the US has provided the MKO with support due to its ambition to overthrow the Iranian government.