Iran on Monday slammed Canada for removing an exiled Iranian opposition group from its blacklist of terror groups, accusing it of violating its global commitments and adopting a “dangerous” move.
By delisting the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) group, Canada is “using the issue of terrorism as a tool (and) violating its international commitments,” the Iranian foreign ministry said on the website of state broadcaster IRIB.
“It is a dangerous move that can weaken international peace and security.”
Canada on December 21 announced the removal of the group from its blacklist after a similar move by the United States in September.
Canada also added Iran’s Quds Force, a special forces unit within the Revolutionary Guards tasked with missions abroad, to its terror list.
The Iranian foreign ministry issued a “serious warning” about the consequences of the decision to delist MEK, saying it was turning Canada into a “haven for terrorists.”
It said Iran will hold Canada responsible for preserving the security of Iranian expatriates and properties “in case of any violent and terrorist acts” by the MEK.
The ministry did not comment on the Quds Force addition to Canada’s blacklist.
The leftwing group was founded in the 1960s to oppose the shah of Iran. After the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted the shah it took up arms against Iran’s clerical rulers.
It is blamed for killing Americans in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on US soil in 1992.
But it says it has now laid down its arms and is working to overthrow the Iranian regime through peaceful means.
Iran holds the group responsible for murdering thousands of Iranian civilians and officials as well as becoming mercenaries for the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.
Canada broke diplomatic ties with Iran in early September.