TEHRAN (FNA) – Iran’s ambassador to Iraq on Saturday announced that the Baghdad government is seriously pursuing its policy on the expulsion of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from the country.
"Based on our information, the government of Iraq is preparing preliminary measures for transferring the group’s members from Camp Ashraf to Samawah Province (Southeast of Baghdad)," Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazzemi Qomi told FNA.
"That is the Iraqi government’s decision and oppositions in this regard will not influence Baghdad’s decision," he reiterated.
The MKO has been in Iraq’s Diyala province since the 1980s. The Iraqi government and parliament have announced that they would not tolerate the group anymore and that they are seeking to expel the group from the country in the near future.
Following the decision, Iraqi security forces took control of the training base of the MKO at Camp Ashraf – about 60km (37 miles) north of Baghdad – in July and detained dozens of the members of the terrorist group.
The Iraqi authority then changed the name of the military center from Camp Ashraf to the Camp of New Iraq.
The anti-Iran terror group has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by many international entities and countries.
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).
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the Islamic Revolution in Iran 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 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.
The MKO was put on the US terror list in 1997 by the then President, Bill Clinton, but since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group has been strongly backed by the Washington Neocons, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.