Proscription of MKO as terrorist group justified, says UK minister

London, Oct 23, IRNA -- The British government's proscription of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO) as a terrorist group is fully justified, according to Minister for Trade Baroness Symons, who also spoke of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCR) as its front group.

"It is proscribed for very good reasons: it publicly acknowledges its responsibility for terrorist actions against government buildings in Iran and carried out a series of mortar bomb attacks in central Tehran in 2000, which resulted in death and injury," Symons said.

The minister clarified the government's position during a brief debate on human rights in Iran in the House of Lords on Monday, when she faced questions by supporters and apologists for the MKO.

"We do not rely on the often inaccurate reports of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which undertakes fundraising and propaganda activities on behalf of the Mojahedin-e Khalq, a terrorist organization proscribed in the United Kingdom," she said.

"It is important that we place some of the NCRI material in the right context. Some of it is exaggerated and is not borne out from those on the ground," Symons said about its latest propaganda that claimed there had been 292 executions in Iran this year.

She said that she had evidence of 'about 15 such sentences' but pointed that 'the individuals concerned have almost without exception been found guilty of serious crimes such as murder or rape'.

The minister acknowledged that the British government does 'not ever support the death penalty' and said she accepted that executions were 'deplorable'.