Iraq will not grant asylum to MKO members

Iraqi Minister of State for National Security Shirwan al-Waeli says Baghdad will not grant asylum to any Iranian living at Camp Ashraf.

Last week, Iraqi security forces stormed the camp that housed members of the terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) and seized control of it.

The Iraqi government has declared that it wants to close the camp and send its residents to Iran or a third country.

"Iraq will not give asylum (to them) as refugees in its territory and we cannot tolerate groups that cause problems in their countries of origin," Reuters quoted Waeli as saying.

He declined to say when Camp Ashraf would be shut down and its 3,500 residents evicted.

"Our information says there are only 56 wanted by Iranian judicial courts and the others won’t have a problem if they go back to Iran," Waeli said.
"We don’t want problems with our neighbours," the Iraqi minister added.

The MKO was founded in Iran in the 1960s, but its top leadership and members fled the country in the 1980s after carrying out a series of assassinations and bombings inside the country.

The group is especially notorious in Iran because they allied with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

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