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Phyllis Starkey (Milton Keynes South West, Labour): I was part of the recent Inter-Parliamentary Union delegation to Iran. Everybody whom we met made it very clear that the MEK, to which the hon. Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Binley) referred, is widely regarded as a terrorist group that was funded by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. They said that, if we wanted a productive dialogue with Iran about its nuclear policy, the last thing that we, the Americans or any other EU member state should do is suggest that the terrorists in the MEK should be rehabilitated.
On June 27, 2006, there was a debate on Iran in the House of Commons, parts of which were related to the terrorist organization of Mojahedin-e Khalq: Brian Binley (Northampton South, Conservative) I notice that the Foreign Secretary did not touch on the question of external resistance to the Iranian regime. Some time ago, the Americans gave protected persons status to the Mujaheddin of Iran in Camp Ashraf. Later, the German courts reconfirmed the rights of political asylum for Iranian refugees, whose status had previously been suspended. Only 11 days ago, the French lifted all restrictions on the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Is it not now time to urge the Home Office to take positive steps to improve relations with the Iranian resistance movement, both for their sake and in our national interest? Margaret Beckett (Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office) I am confident that the Home Office keeps those issues under review. I will, of course, draw the hon. Gentleman's observations to its attention... Phyllis Starkey (Milton Keynes South West, Labour) I was part of the recent Inter-Parliamentary Union delegation to Iran. Everybody whom we met made it very clear that the MEK, to which the hon. Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Binley) referred, is widely regarded as a terrorist group that was funded by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. They said that, if we wanted a productive dialogue with Iran about its nuclear policy, the last thing that we, the Americans or any other EU member state should do is suggest that the terrorists in the MEK should be rehabilitated. Margaret Beckett (Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office) My hon. Friend makes a very interesting point, based on her recent experience in Iran. As I told the hon. Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Binley), the international community's overriding priority is with the present Government of Iran. We believe that our proposals are very fair and very much to the advantage of Iran's Government and people. We hope that the proposals will be considered speedily and fully. Debate in full:

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