In contrast to the United States long classification of MEK as a terrorist group, dating back to attacks by the group in the 1970’s that killed several US military personnel and civilians advising the government of the late Shah of Iran, it stands in full support of the group. MEK supported Iraq in its 1980’s war against Iran and enjoyed protected status under Saddam, but it has to leave the country as the new government in Baghdad tries to purge the country of any source of violence that endangers the country’s social security and order.
In an attempt to take the control of the group’s bastion, Camp Ashraf, Iraqi forces invaded the camp on Tuesday but protests from the side of MEK caused numerous casualties and according to reports by Iraqi officials, several deaths. Earlier Wednesday, a State Department spokesman said reports of casualties among camp residents are disturbing and said the United States is seeking more information from the Iraqi government.
Reported by Voanews, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she deplored the reported raid and said the United States is urging restraint on both sides in a confrontation between Iraqi security forces and Iranian dissidents in a camp east of Baghdad occupied by the Iranian exiles since before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Soon after the fall of Saddam, the US troops had provided security for the camp but ceded control in February of this year with the transfer of full authority in the country from coalition forces to the Iraqi government. Clinton said Iraq must uphold commitments to the United States that the MEK members will not be mistreated.
"We are very clear that we expect that the Government of Iraq, now that it has assumed this security responsibility, will fulfill its obligations, to show restraint, will not forcibly transfer anyone to a country where such a transfer might result in the mistreatment or the death of that person based on their political affiliation and activities," she said. "But it is now the responsibility of the Government of Iraq."
If full authority in the country from coalition forces is transferred to the Iraqi government, then, it is up to the government to decide for the country’s security by curbing the danger of a terrorist group still recognized a FTO.