An Iranian official announced on Sunday that several members of the anti-Iran terrorist group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), were arrested in Tehran yesterday, while they were seeking to spark tension in the Iranian capital on the anniversary of the last year’s presidential election.
"Based on the information received (thus far), a number of MKO members are among the individuals who were arrested by the people (civilians) yesterday," Governor-General of Tehran Morteza Tammadon said on Sunday.
The official declined to provide any further details, including the exact number of the MKO members arrested yesterday.
"The intelligence and law enforcement officials will present information in due time," he said.
The development came as a number of opposition groups sought to stage illegal rallies to repeat their last year claims about the outcome of the presidential election that led to the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12, 2009.
Rioters arrested during Iran’s post-election unrests had acknowledged MKO’s leading role in sparking unrests in the Iranian capital last year.
They confessed that had received trainings in the Camp Ashraf of the MKO in Iraq to conduct sabotage and terror operations in Iran.
The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, has been in the country’s Diyala province since the 1980s.
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).
The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution 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 the 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.