US shelterin MEK Terrorist group in Iraq regrettable

Section: General News – Iran strongly condemned the United States for double standards in its treatment of terrorist groups such as the MKO.

"The Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by many countries. The US State Department has also identified the group as a foreign terrorist organization," Iran’s mission to the UN said in a letter to The Chicago Tribune published on Tuesday.

The letter added, "It is regrettable, and certainly a sign of outright double standards, that the US shelters this terrorist group. US media give its spokespeople free space to disseminate their political propaganda."

The MKO launched terrorist operations against Iran following the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). The group is also known to have cooperated with Iraq’s US-backed former dictator Saddam Hossein in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.

The terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for numerous terror attacks against Iranian officials and civilians.

In October, Seyed Mohammad Javad Hasheminejad, head of the Iranian based human rights group, Habilian Association, accused US military forces in Iraq of colluding with the MKO to "address the interests of America".

"The US has entered into a contract with the MKO, declaring this terrorist organization as being protected by the international law," he said, adding that such double standards have led to the protection of terrorists by America in the past five years.

Whilst ostensibly keeping the MKO on its terror list, the US recently granted citizenship to 16 leading members of the group and according to a senior Iraqi lawmaker, the US is studying the records of certain MKO members to select those who may help American forces pursue their anti-Iran goals.

Tuesday’s letter to The Chicago Tribune stated, "It is imperative that the next US administration recognizes the true nature of individuals and groups that purport to speak for democracy and yet have a discredited record of violence, suppression of internal dissent and dangerous, totalitarian ideology."

A change in the US attitude toward such groups would be ‘a positive step’ forward in the fight against global terrorism, added the letter, concluding, "These groups lack the slightest legitimacy in the eyes of the Iranian people because of their common cause with the enemies of Iran."

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

The MKO is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze, and has been designated by the US government as a foreign terrorist organization. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visits Brussels and despite the ban enjoys 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).

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

According to 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.

Leaders of the group have been fighting to shed its terrorist tag after a series of bloody anti-Western attacks in the 1970s, and nearly 30 years of violent struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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.

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

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