Iran laments efforts by UK pressing U.S. to delist MKO

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi here on Monday expressed regret over a move by British lawmakers who are pressuring the U.S. to remove the MKO from its terror blacklist.

“The terror group (MKO) has a long record of terrorist activities, which are familiar to everybody,” Qashqavi said, referring to the group’s numerous acts of violence against Iranian civilians and government officials as well as Iraqis during the reign of Saddam.


“No changes have occurred in the European Parliament’s policy towards terrorism,” the spokesman said, highlighting the West’s double standard policy on terrorism.


More than 180 members of the British Parliament issued a letter to President Barak Obama, urging him to follow the EU’s example and remove the anti-Iranian MKO -- the Mojahedin Khalq Organization -- from the U.S. blacklist.


The MKO, blacklisted as a terrorist organization by many international entities and countries, was put on the U.S. terror list in 1997 by then President Bill Clinton.


 Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan trilateral summit delayed


A scheduled summit between the presidents of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan has been postponed at the request of President Asif Ali Zardari.


Qashqavi said that the meeting was delayed due to some domestic tensions in Pakistan and Zardari’s heavy schedules.


“The meeting will be held in the near future on a fixed date,” Qashqavi told reporters at his weekly press briefing. 


The presidents of the three neighboring countries were to meet in Tehran on Tuesday, May 19, to discuss a trilateral mechanism to combat drugs smuggling and other trans-border crimes and stem the spread of insurgency in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Qashqavi also blasted the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan, saying, “Extremism has always been the brother of occupation.”


On Obama’s recent remarks about Iran, the spokesman said it is better that U.S. policymakers to care about the interests their people’s rather than “involving them in crises that the Zionist regime is facing.”  


However, Qashqavi said the remarks by Obama that the “U.S. approach toward Iran over the past 30 years has been wrong is ‘realistic’.”


He also said it is necessary that the U.S. take practical steps in its overtures toward Tehran.


The spokesman insisted that actions speak louder than words. “We make our judgment based on action”.


However, he said, “A fair chance should be given to the U.S. president to change in practice.”


In an interview with the Newsweek on Saturday Obama said, “We are going to reach out to them and try to shift off of a pattern over the last 30 years that hasn''t produced results in the region.”


The U.S. president also said all options on Iran are on the table. “I've been very clear that I don't take any options off the table with respect to Iran. I don't take options off the table when it comes to U.S. security, period.”


 Iran greets Kuwaitis for electing female MPs


Qashqavi also praised “successful” parliamentary elections in Kuwait and congratulated Kuwaitis for electing female MPs for the first time in their history.   


 Amr Moussa pours cold water on Israel’s hope


In a meeting on the Middle East peace process in Jordan on Sunday, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa stated that Arab countries do not have any problem with Iran and efforts to reach a compromise with Israel have not produced any positive result.


“Amr Moussa’s speeches put an end to all Iranophobia plots in the region.”


“He threw cold water on Israel’s hope to promote Iranophobia in the Middle East,” Qashqavi averred.


Qashqavi also denied media reports that Vali Reza Nasr, a senior Obama administration advisor on Iran, has visited Tehran for talks with Iranian officials.


“Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki and the U.S. Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) strongly denied the report on Vali Nasr’s trip to Tehran.” 





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