US confirms Mojahedin Khlaq as terrorist group

MKO is an exiled cult-like organization that resorts to armed attacks to destabilize the government in Tehran.

The US State Department has declared that the official designation of Mujahedin Khalq Organization as a terrorist group is appropriate.

In a notice published Monday in the Federal Register, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the MKO group should remain in its list of terrorist organizations.

The US announcement comes amid Iraqi government efforts to expel members of the terrorist group. Baghdad assumed control of the security of Camp Ashraf, the main MKO military base in Iraq’s Diyala province, on January 1, 2009.

The Mujahedin Khalq Organization is blacklisted by many countries, including EU member states and the United States as a terrorist organization. It relocated to Camp Ashraf from Iran after the Islamic Revolution.

Prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the MKO enjoyed the support of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain, who provided the group with arms and military equipment to launch attacks against the Islamic Republic during the Iraqi war against Iran (1980-88).

The Iraqi government says the MKO has played a significant role in destabilizing the war-torn country, blaming the group for terrorist attacks within Iraq.

The recent move provoked the group to file a petition in order to take the case to the court. “We will take the case to the court and we will win,” a Paris-based spokesman for the group, Shahin Gobadi, proclaimed.

The MKO has sought to have the group removed from the list of terrorist organizations, lobbying the European parliament and officials.

Baghdad urges the expulsion or relocation of the terrorist group, saying the MKO presence at Camp Ashraf may strain its diplomatic relations with Tehran.

In addition to terrorist attacks within Iran, which claimed the lives of 12,000 civilians, the MKO helped Saddam in suppressing Iraqi Kurds.

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