Canada drops Iranian group from terror list

The Canadian government`s move to delist Mujahedeen-e-Khalq follows similar moves by the United States and the European Union.

Toronto: Canada`s government has said that it has removed an Iranian opposition group once allied with Saddam Hussein`s Iraqi regime from its official list of terrorist organisations.

The government`s move to delist Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, follows similar moves by the United States and the European Union.

The MEK, a small, armed exile group, has said it wants to replace Tehran`s clerical regime with a secular government through peaceful means.

The MEK carried out a series of bombings and assassinations against Iran`s clerical regime in the 1980s and fought alongside Saddam`s forces in the Iran-Iraq war. But the group says it renounced violence in 2001.

The United States noted when delisting the Paris-based group in September that the MEK had not engaged in terrorism for more than a decade.

Any person or group on Canada`s terrorist list may have their assets seized, and there are criminal penalties for assisting organisations that are on the list.

Critics of the MEK say it has cult-like characteristics and that delisting it would be seen even by moderate Iranians as an endorsement of terrorism.

PTI

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