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(Reuters) - Iran blamed on Thursday "a terrorist sect" for accosting a senior Iranian diplomat in New York and condemned the United States for deciding to remove the group, the Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK), from a U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.

New York police said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was verbally abused, pushed and shoved by "anti-regime" protesters on the street as he walked a few blocks from the headquarters of the United Nations on Wednesday.

He became separated from members of his party traveling by car in a protected motorcade on Wednesday, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

Iranian officials said the incident took place during a protest against Iran's government organized by the Iranian dissident group MEK. The protest was near the U.N. headquarters in Manhattan.

The United States said last week the MEK would be removed from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
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