France wants it to stay, but the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran is on the verge of being removed from an EU list of banned terrorist groups. An agreement would need the approval of EU foreign ministers when they meet on Monday. Yet France has appealed to the European Court of Justice to keep the exiled Iranian opposition group on the list. The Court of First Instance in December annulled an EU attempt to keep the group’s assets frozen.
France claims to have proof that the group is involved in terrorist activities but is not willing to make the information public. In 2003 French police raided the organisation’s premises when then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said the group “wanted to make France its support base”. The People’s Mujahideen is also banned in the United States. It began life as a leftist-Islamist opposition to the Shah of Iran, capitalism, and Western imperialism but officially renounced violence in 2001.