Egypt gives green light to MKO camp
Egypt has agreed to the establishment of a Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) base in the country as the terrorist group seeks a new home.
The MKO, which identifies itself as a Marxist-Islamist guerilla army, has carried out acts of terror against Iranian nationals and officials. Outlawed in Iran, the group was relocated to Iraq and allegedly assisted former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the massacre of thousands of Iraqi civilians in the 1990s.
After the finalization of a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington, the Iraqi government regained control of the country’s national security issues. The interim agreement gave control of Camp Ashraf, the MKO headquarters and training site, to the Baghdad government as of January 1, 2009.
Baghdad seeks to expel the members of the terrorist group from the country.
MKO leaders, meanwhile, are scrambling to woo regional countries to establish a foothold in the region.
Iraqi sources were quoted by Mehr news agency as saying that certain countries that oppose Iran are considering allowing the terrorist group to remain in the Middle East.
Egypt, they said, has agreed with a request by MKO leaders to establish a camp in the country.
Many countries, including the US, have designated the MKO a "terrorist" organization. The US State Department acknowledges that the MKO assassinated at least six US citizens in Iran, prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Iran has called on Iraq to extradite MKO terrorists to Iran where they would face prosecution for their criminal acts.
"We believe that certain MKO leaders who organized and carried out criminal acts against the Iranian nation should be handed over to the Iranian government so they can be tried and brought to justice," said Tehran’s envoy to Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi.
However, US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said in a January interview that the Iraqi government had "provided assurances that none of these (MKO) individuals will be forcibly sent to a third country where they have reason to fear for their safety or well-being, and we know those assurances will be respected."