Senior Tribal Leader Urges Expulsion of MKO Members from Iraq

A senior tribal leader in Iraq’s Northern Diyala province which hosts the main training camp of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization underlined the Iraqi people’s strong support for the expulsion of the MKO members from the country.

"The al-Azzah tribe and I as the leader of the tribe welcome expulsion of the MKO," Mazan Habib Kheizaran told FNA on Wednesday, adding that all the people of the Diyala province support the Iraqi government and parliament’s plan for expelling the MKO from the country.

He pointed to the problems that the MKO has created for the Iraqi people, and said given the fact that Iraq needs the assistance and cooperation of the neighboring and Muslim countries, hosting the enemies of Iran which has helped Iraq on various and numerous occasions is wrong.

"Iran is helping us and it is wrong to keep its enemy," the tribal leader reiterated.

Noting the fate of the terrorist group, Habib Kheizaran said according to the information he has obtained in his rare meetings with certain members of the MKO, the members of the terrorist group are due to be sent to the European countries in small groups.

The MKO has been in Iraq’s Diyala province since the 1980s.

In an incident in January, members of the MKO attacked a group of Iraqi protestors, including tribal leaders, outside MKO’s main training camp in Northern Iraq and injured several people, including a reporter.

The incident occurred after thousands of Iraqi tribal leaders and figures along with a number of reporters had gathered outside the Camp of New Iraq (formerly known as Camp Ashraf) in Iraq’s Northern province of Diyala to call for the expulsion of the terrorist group from the country’s soil.

The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.

Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.

The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).

Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.

A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.

The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

Iraqi security forces took control of the training base of the MKO at Camp Ashraf – about 60km (37 miles) north of Baghdad – last year and detained dozens of the members of the terrorist group.

The Iraqi authority also changed the name of the military center from Camp Ashraf to the Camp of New Iraq.

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