Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was set to notify Congress Friday that she intends to take the Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or MEK, off a list of terrorist organizations, a State Department official said.
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A decision will be formally announced before Oct. 1, a second department official said. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity pending notification of Congress.
The action will be well-received by Congress, where some lawmakers have advocated delisting for years, while it may spark an angry response from the Iranian government, which has alleged the group has worked to assassinate its nuclear scientists in tandem with Israel.
The MEK was formed in 1965 to resist the Shah of Iran. After the Shah’s fall in 1979, the group broke with the revolutionary Islamic government and began attacking the regime from Iraq. The US put the organization on its terrorism list in 1997 for alleged involvement in the killing of six Americans in Iran in the 1970s. The MEK also had made a failed attempt to kidnap the US ambassador to Iran in 1971.
The organization says it disarmed in 2003, following the US invasion of Iraq, and has lobbied the US government since then to be removed from the list of terror organizations.
The group has employed prominent figures from both political parties to argue its cause in Washington and overseas. It denies Iran’s claim that the MEK was involved in attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists.