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MKO given ultimatum to leave Iraq

Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf said on Sunday Iraq’s government has given the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization a six-month deadline to leave the country.

He told the Arabic radio Nawa that the Iraqi forces have taken control of Ashraf military base where the MKO were deployed.

Iraqi lawmakers had earlier urged the Iraqi government to expel the Mujahedin Khalq Organization from Iraqi territory.

In an interview with the Mehr News Agency, Iraqi lawmaker Ali al-Adib said the Iraqi Constitution requires the government to prevent terrorist activities in the country.

“Iraq should not be used as a base for aggression against neighboring countries or as a venue for helping forces who take hostile actions against Iraq’s neighbors.”

“Iraq can provide political asylum to foreigners but will not provide asylum to groups which have a military and political nature, such as the MKO, which has carried out some activities against the Iraqi nation and was a part of the oppressive regime of Saddam.”

Al-Adib said the Iraqi government is negotiating with international organizations to expel the MKO from the country.

“The Red Cross has not yet received a clear message from the countries which are prepared to accept this group. I believe most of the countries have refused to accept these people,” he stated.

“Iran has recently said those MKO members who have not committed any crimes will be forgiven, but my information says some of the MKO members are preventing those who want to turn themselves in (from doing so).”

The Mujahedin Khalq was set up in the mid-1960s to oppose the U.S.-backed dictatorship of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. It participated in the 1979 Islamic Revolution but soon launched a campaign of assassinations and bombings in Iran.

The MKO was supported by Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war but was disarmed after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Tehran Times Political Desk 

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