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France’s mere description of MKO as violent not enough: Iran official

15 July 2016 11:05

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An official at the Iranian Foreign Ministry says it is not “adequate” for France to merely describe the terrorist anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) as a “violent” group, as recently reported in the media.

The French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it maintained “no contact” with the MKO, according to media reports.

“Its (MKO’s) violent and non-democratic inspiration has led several human rights organizations to underline its sectarian practices and its refusal to formally renounce violence,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal reportedly said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

He was speaking following Iran’s strong objection to a rally held in the French capital, Paris, by the MKO.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned French Ambassador to Tehran François Sénémaud on Tuesday to hand him a note of strong protest over the rally.

When asked about media reports on Nadal’s remarks, a source at the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday described the reported French position as “inadequate.”

“Merely calling the MKO terrorist and violent and pointing to its sectarian behavior is not enough,” the source said. “The French position comes even as the French have in recent years consistently regarded themselves as one of the European victims of the terrorist activities of the Takfiri groups that are supported by certain reactionary countries and the godfathers and sponsors of al-Qaeda and Daesh.”

Just on Thursday night, a truck plowed into a crowd of people celebrating the French National Day in the southern French city of Nice. As of now, 84 people have been confirmed dead in the incident, which has been described by French President Francois Hollande as being of an “undeniably terrorist nature.”

While investigations are underway in France, the attack would be the third terrorist incident in the European country if confirmed as an act of terror. In November last year, terrorist attacks claimed by Daesh left 130 people dead and over 350 others wounded in and around Paris. Seventeen people were also killed in other attacks in Paris in January 2015.

The MKO rally was held in Paris on Saturday. The gathering was attended by former Saudi spymaster Turki al-Faisal, who gave a 30-minute anti-Iran speech.

The MKO has a bleak history of assassinations and bombings in Iran. The group is particularly despised by Iranians because it sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.

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