US tells Iraq to treat MKO terrorists ‘with dignity’

MKO is notorious for its operations during the Iran-Iraq war and helping Saddam in the massacre of Iranians and Iraqi Kurds.

The United States urges Iraq to "act humanely and with respect" with members of an anti-Iranian terrorist group responsible for numerous bombings and assassination attempts against Iranians.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Friday that Washington hopes the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) will be treated humanely and do not end up in a country where they could be harmed following their removal from their bases at Camp Ashraf.

Camp Ashraf, is situated in the northern Iraqi province of Diyala near the Iranian border, to the southern province of Muthanna.

"What we would do, first and foremost, is to urge the Iraqi authorities to conduct any such relocation with the residents of Camp Ashraf, that it is done in a lawful and humane way," he said.

"The government of Iraq has assured us that they would not deport any of these citizens to any country where they would be having a well-grounded fear of being treated inhumanely," he added.
Kelley said he will further discuss the importance of this matter with the Baghdad government in future meetings. "We’re making it clear that we would expect… that the residents to be treated well and with respect."

His comments come after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that his government has decided to relocate the terrorist group to a remote area in the southern part of the country before expelling them once and for all.

“Moving them to Nuqrat al-Salman (prison) is a step towards expelling them,” Maliki wrote in a question-and-answer session posted on a state website, Reuters reported.

“Their presence at Ashraf is a major risk because of the historical ties with some groups and political powers in that area, especially the [remnants] of the former regime and al-Qaeda,” he added.

The Mujahedin Khalq Organization, which blended elements of Marxism, Stalinism, and Feminism, took refuge in Iraq after they were exiled from Iran in the 1980’s on charges of terrorism.

They resided in Camp Ashraf in northern Baghdad for the past two decades and were lucky enough to receive protected status following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

However, control of the camp was handed over to Iraqi forces earlier this year and the Baghdad government stepped up efforts to expel the anti-Iran terrorists.

The Baghdad government had been warning for months that its patience with the grouplet was wearing thin.

In Iran, members of the Mujahiden-e Khalq organizations are regarded as traitors for siding with the Ba’ath regime during the Iraq-imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).

The group became especially notorious after they masterminded a torrent of terrorist operations inside Iran, one of which was the 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party, in which more than 72 Iranian officials were killed.

In Iraq, MKO is seen as “brainwashed cult from a high-trained terrorist organization” which assisted the Saddam regime in oppressing the Iraqi nation.

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