Iran Condemns "For a Free Iran" Summit in Paris Amidst Political Unrest

news 03-Jul-2023 Asia

Iran Condemns "For a Free Iran" Summit in Paris

Iran has condemned the "For a Free Iran" summit organized by the local office of the "People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran" (PMOI) in Paris, with the participation of former US Vice President Mike Pence and former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, according to Naser Kanaani, the official spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Iranian diplomat noted that the holding of such an event is surprising against the backdrop of the escalating political situation in France and the ongoing unrest for several days.

"The organization of a summit of a terrorist group like PMOI in France, accompanied by dissatisfaction and protests from the population of this country, is due to the French government's disregard for the demands of its citizens and its continued political support for terrorist groups. The terrorists who have betrayed their country and nation, committing outrageous crimes, will not hesitate to betray their foreign supporters," Kanaani said, as quoted by Tasnim News Agency.

Last Saturday, the "For a Free Iran" summit took place in Paris, organized by the local office of the "People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran" (PMOI), also known as the "National Council of Resistance of Iran." The group is recognized as a terrorist organization in Iran. The main theme of the summit was the struggle for the alleged creation of a democratic republic in Iran. According to media reports, former US Vice President and National Security Advisor under former President Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and John Bolton, were among the participants. In early June, a phone call took place between the presidents of France and Iran, Emmanuel Macron and Ebrahim Raisi, regarding expanding cooperation between the countries and the possible lifting of sanctions.

The PMOI played an important role during the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. This leftist radical group fought against the Islamic Republic of Iran after the Islamic Revolution and the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini. The group's peak activity in Iran was in 1981 when the PMOI organized an attack that killed Iranian President Mohammad Ali Rajai and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar.

After suffering defeat in Iran, the group relocated to Iraq, which was at war with Iran in the 1980s. In 2003, the PMOI was disarmed during the invasion of Iraq by an international coalition led by the United States. The new authorities in Iraq, where the majority of the population, like in Iran, is Shia Muslims, declared that they would not allow the PMOI to operate on their territory. The largest PMOI camp in Iraq, "Ashraf," was stormed by Iraqi security forces in 2011. The residents of "Ashraf" were relocated to the "Camp Liberty." For several years, the US has been involved in the evacuation of PMOI members from Iraq to third countries. International organizations criticized both the PMOI militants and Iraqi forces for numerous human rights violations, torture, and killings. Currently, the largest PMOI cell is based in Albania, as well as in France.

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