BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK Politics
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Interviews 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 18:07 GMT
Straw ban on Iranian opposition attacked
Robin Corbett
Mr Corbett challenged government policy
Home Secretary Jack Straw's plan to ban the Iranian opposition group Mujaheddin e Khalq (MeK) from operating in the UK has been branded the most "unethical foreign policy".

A majority of MPs, 337, and 94 members of the Lords have signed a statement demanding that the government backs the Iranian people and not President Khatami's regime.


There is no justification for it - the regime are the terrorists

Robin Corbett
Labour MP Robin Corbett, who chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee, said there was "no justification" for Mr Straw's plan to outlaw the MeK under the Terrorism Act.

Mr Straw's move to ban 21 foreign organisations from operating in the UK because, in his judgement, they are "concerned in terrorism" was passed by the Commons last week.

"I want Jack Straw to listen to the 337 members of the House of Commons and 94 members of the House of Lords who are backing that majority in Iran who are demanding freedom and change," said Mr Corbett.

"And that means in my view that the proposed proscription of the Mujaheddin should be dropped.

'Terrorist' regime

"There is no justification for it - the regime are the terrorists."

Mr Corbett was backed by senior Liberal Democrat politician Lord Alton who said that outlawing the MeK was a serious mistake and "perhaps the most unethical foreign policy one could imagine".

At a meeting in Westminster of MPs, peers and Iranian campaigners, Lord Alton accused the government of giving in to the demands of a brutal regime and called on Mr Straw to "reconsider this most obnoxious and odious decision".

President Khatami's regime has so far executed more than 700 people.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

21 Mar 01 | UK Politics
Mo Mowlam: My Iranian drugs mission
28 Feb 01 | UK Politics
Islamic militant groups face ban
14 Mar 01 | UK Politics
Vote deferred on 'terrorist groups'
01 Mar 01 | UK Politics
More 'terror' groups face ban
28 Feb 01 | Europe
Foreign groups banned in Britain
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK Politics stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK Politics stories