Iraq Thursday announced it would expel members of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said, "We have our own problems and are going through a trying period that prevents us from offering refuge. Our Constitution forbids us from hosting an organization considered to be terrorist."
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s cabinet had demanded that the MKO members be rapidly transferred to other countries, AFP quoted the spokesman as saying.
"The presence of this organization is illegal and the cabinet has decided to put an end to it, said Dabbagh, adding, "We have given it time to prepare to leave Iraq for another country. We have left it to them to go to the country of their choice.
"This organization has broken the law and interfered in Iraq’s internal affairs."
During the regime of now executed dictator Saddam Hussein, the MKO was welcome in Iraq and fought with Iraqi forces against Iran.
The organization was behind terrorist acts in Iran, assassinating prominent figures and officials in the country.
Iraq’s Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Shirvan Vaeli had already announced that the MKO which had hatched numerous plots against the Iraqi nation would be expelled from the country.
"We are now preparing a comprehensive plan which requires approval of the government to expel the MKO from the country," he said.
"We strongly follow up the case because the MKO seeks to hatch plots against the Iraqi people," vowed Vaeli.
Officials at International Committee of the Red Cross and the United States had been informed of the need to take action to drive MKO out of Iraq, he added.
An eminent Iraqi lawyer had also announced that the existence of Mujahedin Khalq Organization in Iraq was unlawful.
Tariq Harb, head of the Population of Disseminating Law Culture in Iraq, told the Baghdad-based weekly Al-Shahed, "According to the domestic, international, and foreign nongovernmental laws, the existence of MKO in Iraq is illegal.
"Given the law of Iraqi nongovernmental organizations and the organization’s nature, the MKO has never been enlisted as a foreign nongovernmental organization in the country."
He added the MKO had no lawful credibility and was not allowed to operate in Iraq.
In accordance with articles 7 and 8 of the Iraqi Constitution, the country had ordered a ban on terrorist groups and those who conduct hostile actions against neighboring countries, he noted.
International bodies had listed the MKO as a terrorist organization, recalled the lawyer, adding Iraq with respect to its Constitution was abiding by commitments in cooperation with the United Nations and the Security Council in this respect.
Pointing to Article 8 of the Constitution, the Iraqi lawyer stated that Iraq had vowed to abide by international resolutions issued by the UN Security Council.
"Article 8 reads that Iraq observes the principle of good neighborliness, and it should reject organizations that carry out military or political operations against adjacent countries," he added.
According to the lawyer, Article 7 underlines a ban on provocative operations from every foundation which is either committed to or paves the way or promotes terrorist activities against neighboring countries.
Harb added that the MKO had massacred Iraqi people in 1991 in collaboration with Baathist regime, recalling that nobody had forgotten the organization’s role in suppressing the people of Khaneqein and Jalula.
He called the MKO a terrorist group which was linked to Saddam Hussein’s regime, stressing that their operations should be cut down in Iraq.
IRNA – 2007/02/03