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Viewing cable 09LONDON100, IRAN: HMG FEELS LEGALLY COMPELLED TO OPPOSE MEK RE-LISTING IN FUTURE EU VOTES, BUT ARGUES ITS ANTI-MEK POLICY IS UNCHANGED

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09LONDON100 2009-01-14 17:05 2011-02-04 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
VZCZCXRO6852
PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLO #0100 0141707
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141707Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0910
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000100 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/14/2019 
TAGS: KPRP PGOV PHUM PTER IR EU UK
SUBJECT: IRAN: HMG FEELS LEGALLY COMPELLED TO OPPOSE MEK RE-LISTING IN FUTURE EU VOTES, BUT ARGUES ITS ANTI-MEK POLICY IS UNCHANGED  

REF: EMB LONDON EMAILS (GAYLE) TO DEPT (NEA/IR)      1/12/09 AND PREVIOUS  

1.  (C)  UK Government representatives in Brussels are likely to begin voting to oppose re-listing the Mujaheddin-e-Khalq (MEK) under EU anti-terror regulations as the issue arises, FCO Iran Coordination Group Bilateral Team Leader Margaret Tongue told London Iran Watcher (Poloff) January 12.  The revelation came the same day on which Foreign Secretary Miliband had fielded a Parliamentary question on HMG's Brussels voting stance on the MEK from an ardent MEK supporter, Lord Corbett, and the same day of a noisy MEK rally outside the FCO.  

2.  (C) Tongue said "the framework under which (HMG) must vote on MEK issues has shifted" since Parliament's July 2008 de-listing of the group under UK domestic law.  The UK's domestic de-listing arose from the Court of Appeals' finding and order that HMG, in an MEK-initiated lawsuit, had provided insufficient evidence, required by the domestic anti-terrorism regulation, of the group's continuing terrorist activity.  Tongue, who had just returned from a briefing for Foreign Secretary Miliband on the issue, said the HMG's actual, public view of the MEK as a group "with blood on its hands" and which is "an inappropriate interlocutor on democracy," would remain unchanged; she said HMG welcomed the USG's re-listing under U.S. law of the MEK as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.  

3.  (C) Tongue continued, however, that HMG sees itself as legally bound to vote within the EU in a way consistent with its own domestic law.  In the absence of "new evidence of recent terrorist activities," presented in an EU context, and consistent with a December 8 EU Court of First Instance ruling on the EU's MEK listing, Tongue said HMG representatives would in future vote, reluctantly, against any re-listing of the MEK under EU law.  Tongue acknowledged that Iranian Government bilateral criticism over HMG's posture on the MEK will likely become ever more strident.  

Comment -------  

4.  (C/NF) The close correspondence in time between this shift in HMG's previously anti-MEK stance in Brussels and the USG's re-listing of the group under U.S. law -- a development upon which FCO contacts last week fell like famished wolves -- may be more than coincidence.  The USG's re-listing may provide convenient international policy cover for harried HMG ministers, who have long been under effective, well-organized domestic pro-MEK pressure in the courts and in Parliament.   Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
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