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France judiciary probing 1999 assassination of Iran military official

[JURIST] French judicial officials indicated Monday that the judiciary is launching a new investigation into the 1999 assassination [BBC report] of Iranian deputy chief of the joint staff Brigadier-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi in Tehran. The probe, renewed at the request of Shirazi's family, will focus on the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) [MIPT backgrounder], which has claimed responsibility in the assassination. The MEK, based in France and Iraq, is dedicated to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran and has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

The MEK, also known as the People's Mujahideen of Iran, supported Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Last December, the European Court of First Instance [official website] ruled that the Council of the European Union's decision to freeze the group's assets was made without giving the MEK a fair hearing and was reached without a "sufficient statement of reason" [JURIST report]. The ruling prompted the EU to revise [press release, PDF; JURIST report] its procedures in establishing and maintaining its list of terrorist entities. AP has more.

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