On June 17, 2003, French Intelligence in a coordinated act with Iranian intelligence, rampaged tens of NCRI homes and refugee shelters under the pretext of “the combating terrorism act”, resulting in 5 years of stalemate in lives of tens of Iranian activists (supporters of NCRI). A scenario revised by the Iranian mullahs to hamper opposition activities.
On 12 February 2004, IRNA news agency reported:
” Iran-France trade exchange rises by 22% to 3.353 billion euros
Volume of commercial transactions between Iran and France rose by 22 percent to 3.353 billion euros in the first 11 months of 2004 from 2.744 billion euros in the same period in 2003.The Economic Department of Iran’s Embassy in Paris said on Saturday that France exported 2.070 billion euros worth of goods to Iran in the first 11 months of 2004, showing a 17 percent growth, compared to the same period in 2003. It said Iran’s exports to France however rose by 31.7 percent to 1.283 billion in 2004 compared to 2003. The Tehran-Paris trade balance was 787 million euros in favor of France in 2004 compared to 795 million euros in 2003.”
Allegations of terrorism, a rotten apple to bite
‘The terrorists lists are our Guantanamo,” said Dick Marty, the rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (January 2008). The case of PMOI is an eloquent case. The inclusion of this movement is a path filled with hidden political agenda and abuse of power in violation of the rule of law.” He added:’Iran justified the hanging of Mujahideen (PMOI), saying they are considered terrorists by the EU (4). The terror listing has also served as a pretext to the Americans and the British to bomb the bases of PMOI during Iraqi war, at the request of Iran, an action that has killed some fifty members of the Iranian resistance. After the war, the city of Ashraf has received sizable support of the Iraqi people, Sunnis and Shiites.
French alibi biting the PMOI
On June 17, 2003 in Auvers-sur-Oise, against the headquarters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which PMOI is a member, on the order of Judge Bruguiere.
This case handled since 2001 has failed. As we know, after 5 years with no explanatory court sessions, it contains no evidence of terrorism. Therefore, the judge has lifted virtually all measures of judicial control. The sources of this listing have acknowledged that ‘terrorist nature’ of PMOI’s activities ‘has not been demonstrated’ (Le Monde, February 19, 2005). Still the Judiciary claims to have found new evidence (Read create new evidence).
But then again even this claim is dicing with the rule of the law, since the highly precisions and specialized UK POAC court, already cleared PMOI of all terrorist accusations up to date.
The traces of this coup against PMOI is to be found in the signing of contracts for French firms.
French take Blood money to claim “PMOI is a terrorist”
16 different French police agencies in collaboration with the Iranian secret police attacked tens of Iranian resistance homes and shelters and cultural centers arresting 163 people on vague charges of funding and aiding terrorism. Later French media reported several security and economical trades between French Authorities and Mullahs in Iran.
French daily, Le Monde wrote on 19 February 2005;
“one and half years after the massive police operation in the office of the organisation in Auvers sur-Oise, investigation about the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, has failed to show terrorist aspect of the activities of the Tehran’s opposition movement in France.”
Prominent observers believe that the French Government has used the enquiry as a card to appease the Iranian regime in violation of the most fundamental principles in France including the judicial protection and fair proceedings. The enquiry has already been used by the French Government to illegally designate the Iranian opposition as terrorist by the EU which has long been sought by Tehran, before the court overturned the designation. Tehran continues to use the enquiry to accomplish its objectives by seeking more harm to the Iranian opposition.
“They have no evidence and they know it. Instead of arresting or restricting Iranian regime terrorists who attack us in day light *, they (French secret police) use every opportunity to create pretexts and retributions against activists and Human right defenders who have been struggling for Freedom for the past 28 years”. Says one of the victims (A)
“They did an excellent job for the Iranian Guards and served their interests at a time when Human right violation in Iran was under speculation due to our activities, the nuclear issue was being considered after several years of our revelations “.” This sends the wrong signal to the mullahs in Iran, they shall take this as a singe of weakness and many people will be killed as the result of this error” She insisted emphatically.
A, says her life has been ruined by the attack, where as before she was a reporter on documentary events and developments in Iran. Her family is shattered and all her life and documents relating to her have been at peril by the French Magistrate when they accepted Iranian regime lawyers accessibility to her files. “It was as though I have been exposed with no defense to henchmen of my hunters”.
She said since then her family has been threatened a number of times, all her links and state and belongings have been located in Iran.
“Once as I was traveling from the UK to France I was humiliated under the pretext of checking documents by the French police who were evidently in contact with the Intelligence police …I was undressed and kept in the cold for at least forty minutes. I caught pneumonia later “.
A was only one of tens who had been humiliated and restricted under surveillance for no legal reason. During the time she was forbidden to go to her country of residence by the French secret police, she had no financial resource, no identity as her passport was confiscated, and had no place to live.
“It was a living prison, this time with no bars “.
A said she had considered a number of times to file a complaint against this injustice, but was calmed by her lawyers.
The deal with Tehran
A glance at the events which led to the raid on June 17, 2003 further demonstrates that the attack had no judicial orientation. On 24 April 2003, Mr. Dominique de Villepin, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of France went to Iran. He was asked by the Iranian Foreign Minister to take action against the Iranian opposition in France (Journal de Dimanch 22 June 2003) In May 2003 the Minister of Commerce went to Iran. He signed a trade accord with Tehran to boost trade ties. In the weeks leading to the raid, several large contracts were agreed between the French companies and the Iranian regime worth billions of dollars. In June 2003 Total and BP oil companies were nominated, among others, for a multi-billion dollar contract. Only a few days after the 17 June attack, Iranian media reported that Total was chosen for the contract, despite a better offer from BP. So, was it a coincidence that after 20 years of protecting the Iranian dissidents their office was attacked at a time that trade relation with Tehran reached its peak? The combination of a political-economic deal coupled with a well-orchestrated campaign to demonize the PMOI and the NCRI led to the June 17 raid.
French-Iranian economic ties leading to the staged police attack
According to official statistics, the states standing against Iran obtaining nuclear weapons are in fact main trade partners of this state. France has deep economic relations with the Islamic Republic. In 2000-2006, the trade turnover between France and Iran, and French investment in Iran’s economy amounted to totally $30.2bn
“Possible affects of U.S.-Iran war”, Azeri Press Agentliyi, May 5th, 2007
On September 28, 1997, Total signed a $2 billion deal for the first phase of the South Pars project, snatching the biggest oil deal with Iran since the Islamic Revolution in defiance of U.S. efforts to punish oil companies investing there.
“FRANCE: Total CEO summoned by SEC on Iran deal”, Reuters, April 3rd, 2007
In 2004, Total formed a $2 billion venture with the government-owned National Iranian Oil Corporation and PETRONAS of Malaysia, known as Pars LNG. The aim of which was to produce 8 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas a year equal to about 15% of current world output .
Iran: First steps up its investment in Iran, The New York Times, June 23rd, 2004
Gaz de France purchased the documents of four hydrocarbon blocks offered to tender for exploration and development, announced the representative of Tehran-based office of the French company. He revealed that Gaz de France was thinking of meeting its European clients’ need by purchasing Iranian gas. To this end, the French giant is holding negotiations with the National Iranian Gas Export
“Iran and Sinopec close to Yadavaran oil fiel deal”, Reuters, April 9 2007
Background to French Political pragmatism towards Religious fascism in Iran
The Total Group, one of the world’s largest energy concerns, has long been involved in Iran, a country with 9 percent of the world’s oil reserves and as much as 18 percent of its natural gas reserves. In 2004 it formed a $2 billion venture with the government-owned National Iranian Oil Corporation and Petronas of Malaysia called Pars LNG, which aims to produce eight million metric tons of liquefied natural gas a year, equal to about 15 percent of current world output.
European governments are deeply divided over how far they should refrain from implementing the rule of the law concerning the resistance organization PMOI. In their latest outburst on 27 January 2009, the 27, with two exceptions and France leading, refrained from once again cheating the law and “misusing power” and defying the right to defense” of the PMOI, and announced the implementation of CFI Court ruling which had already demanded EU Ministers not only to announce the deproscription of the PMOI, but to also compensate for damages and costs of the legal process.
On February 8, 2007, France changed its export credit policy towards Iran in a restrictive sense: we have decided to significantly reduce in 2007 our exposure limit on this country and to strengthen dramatically the conditions to grant these credits. And it is clear that this policy will remain under close scrutiny, depending on the evolutions of the nuclear crisis .
Germany and France have been slowly reducing banking exposure and government credit guarantees for exports to Iran, thus shrinking potential for losses in the event of a confrontation with Tehran. France’s embassy in Washington said French banks reduced their exposure to Iran from $5.7 billion in December 2005 to $3.8 billion a year by the end of 2006
France staking high to defy International Law
Six years after the 17 June 2003 raid, and eight years after the start of the investigation, and after compiling tens of thousands of pages to the dossier, it remains empty of a single specific allegation of terrorism, let alone any evidence to back up such a claim.
On January 26, 2009, EU Ministers voted in favor of implementing the CFI ruling of the Luxembourg High Court and de-list the PMOI- pivotal force for change in Iran, from the arranged terrorist list. This was following 4 High European Court judgments and 3 UK court rulings all stressing that “the PMOI is a resistance movement ….”
The UK High Court (Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission or POAC) had considered all open and classified evidence against the PMOI which included information from other countries. The Court scrutinized all the material up to July 2007 and finally concluded that PMOI was not concerned in terrorism. According to paragraph 10 of its judgment, POAC was fully aware of the inquiry in France.
POAC concluded that:
a.Since 2001 the organization has not been engaged in any military activity.
b.The PMOI handed over all its weapons in 2003. The material showed that the entire military apparatus no longer existed whether in Iraq, Iran or elsewhere and there had been no attempt by the PMOI to re-establish it
c.There is no evidence that the PMOI has at any time since 2003 sought to re-create any form of structure that was capable of carrying out or supporting terrorist acts.
d.There is no evidence of any attempt to “prepare” for terrorism.
e.There is no evidence of any encouragement to others to commit acts of terrorism.
f.There is no material that affords any grounds for a belief that the PMOI was “otherwise concerned in terrorism”.
On December 4, 2008, the CFI ruling highly criticized “French behavior” in refraining evidence from the Court, encouraging other states to do the same, with-holding documents from the PMOI and hence depriving it of its right to defense, and misusing of power”. The court strictly ruled out credibility of the “none produced”, “inexistent documents” argued by the French Presidency, and ordered the Council to abide the rule and implement the 26th June Court order by de-listing the PMOI from the black list.
While in the course of the Council reviewing its terror list, France failed to convince other Members States to maintain the PMOI on the list. It appealed against the CFI judgment of 4 December to prevent the removal of the PMOI from the list. It unsuccessfully argued that an application for appeal should have suspensory effect so far as the judgment of the CFI is concerned. The argument was rejected by Members States.
Having failed to convince the Council to act against International law, France continues with its efforts to appease an instable religious fascism in Iran, which holds world record in hanging minors, stoning women and is daily rejected by Iranian demonstrators at home.
On January 20, 2009, the French League of Human Rights (LDH) called on the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to waiver an appeal on the ruling of European Court of Justice that has annulled the freezing of funds of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), classified as “terrorist organization” by the European Union.
In a public letter to Mr. Kouchner, the chairman of the LDH Jean-Pierre Dubois said that “the same court had overturned a similar decision of the Council on December 12, 2006 and since then the British justices had made two successive decisions… saying that including the PMOI on the British list of terrorist organizations has been unlawful. The British listing was then the only basis for the EU’s list. Thus, the United Kingdom removed PMOI from its list on June 24 2008.”- ( AFP)
LDH said that it “is unacceptable that France contributes actively and knowingly in maintaining more than questionable decisions of the European Union.”
Many French observers, Parliamentarians, and human rights organizations believe that what is going on in France is not a judicial enquiry, but a major political scandal. Eight years after the start of the investigation, investigative judges have refused to send the case to court; something which would have taken place if there were any evidence to back up the allegations.
It appears that “The French Connection” this time is costing French people much sacrifice over their basic social and historic values, in return for short time interests. A warning to all Humanitarian organizations and personalities: It is time to defend Ethical, moral and principal values of self integrity, before it is bribed by a barbaric, mediaeval regime such as the Iranian mullahs.