France lashes out at Iranian opposition group

Maryam Rajavi, (C) founder of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) speaks during a press conference before the annual meeting of the Iranian resistance in June 27, 2014 in Villepinte. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

VILLEPINTE, France: France's government is condemning an Iranian opposition group that has drawn huge crowds to rallies outside Paris.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal criticized the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, or Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, for "its violent and non-democratic inspirations," ''cult nature" and "intense campaign of influence and disinformation." The terms were unusually harsh for the French government.

Tens of thousands of people rallied Friday in support of the France-based group, including top former U.S. government officials and generals.

Co-leader Maryam Rajavi called the French criticism a "gift to the mullahs" in charge of Iran.

Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he was "ashamed" by the French government statement.

The group has 3,000 former fighters in a camp in Iraq and fears for their safety given recent violence there.





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