Iran-Interlink welcomes UK de-proscription as Iraq moves to expel MKO terrorists
Following a ruling by the Court of Appeal, the UK government has removed the Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation from the British list of terrorist entities.
Commenting on this move, Iran-Interlink representative Massoud Khodabandeh said, “Whether and why the Rajavi cult is listed as a terrorist entity or not, is the responsibility of national governments and is linked to the security concerns and political manoeuvring of the countries involved to suit their own national interests. For organisations like ours which are working to rescue the members of this destructive cult, this move makes our work that much easier and we welcome it. De-proscription of the MKO in the UK has opened a much needed window of opportunity for these people to reach safety in the west. It is vital now for the MKO’s supporters in Britain, led by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, to immediately undertake to remove the remaining 3,300+ uniformed militants from Camp Ashraf where they have been incarcerated for five years under American protection and bring them to safety in the UK. They can then continue what MKO second-in-command, Maryam Rajavi, describes as their ‘peaceful’ opposition to the Iranian regime in line with British interests.”
Massoud Khodabandeh visited Iraq in February and June this year and reported that the Iraqi government is pushing hard for the removal of all foreign terrorist groups from Iraqi territory. Since introducing a law which specifically designates the MKO as a terrorist group, the Iraqi government is currently negotiating with the American military a timetable for the expulsion of all members of the group who are not to be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Previous attempts by Iraq and the UNHCR to have the group removed have been hampered by the terrorist label in western countries. No country could legally accept them. Now that Britain no longer believes the MKO is concerned with violence, the UK must become a place of safety for the group’s remaining members to take refuge.
Massoud Khodabandeh commented: “In this respect de-proscription of the MKO in the U.K. will enable Britain to fulfil its obligations to the members of this group who have been engaged in engineering the violent overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in close alliance with western interests, for nearly three decades. We cannot expect Iran or Iraq to offer succour to people who have committed acts of violence against the people of those countries. It is clearly the responsibility of the MKO’s western backers to now rescue them.”
Anne Singleton, author of Saddam’s Private Army, commented: “whether it is described as a terrorist entity or not, the Mojahedin-e Khalq is a destructive cult. As such its members are denied even their most basic human rights. They exist in a condition of modern slavery. They do not enjoy freedom of thought or belief. Out of this situation, MKO leader Massoud Rajavi’s mercenary quest for power has cost many thousands of lives. Some western politicians are eager to exploit this group for their own interests, but cannot do so without taking full responsibility for the lives and wellbeing of those they seek to use, and any acts of violence they will perpetrate in future by adhering to Rajavi’s ideology.”