Iraq’s authorities are determined to expel the members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) from their country as soon as possible, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast underlined on Tuesday.
"Given the crimes of this grouplet in creating insecurity at Iran-Iraq borders and the damages they have inflicted on the two nations, our government and nation and also the Iraqi parliament and government all want their (the MKO members) expulsion from Iraq," Mehman-Parast said in his weekly press conference in Tehran.
"Preparatory measures have already been adopted and we hope that this (the expulsion of MKO members) will happen at the earliest," he added.
Reminding that Iraq’s Constitution bans activity of all terrorist groups, he expressed the hope that the demand of the Iraqi nation, parliament and government for the expulsion of the MKO members would soon receive a positive response.
Mehman-Parast’s remarks came days after a top criminal court in Iraq issued arrest warrants for the leaders of the anti-Iran terrorist group.
Arrest warrants have been issued by the Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court for the ringleaders of the Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorist group, Massoud Rajavi, Maryam Rajavi, Amir Kazemi and 35 other MKO members, Habilian Association, an Iran-based human rights group, quoted an Iraqi daily as saying.
"Based on article 12 of the law of Iraq’s supreme criminal court, the Iraqi interior ministry and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) are now tasked with arresting and handing the wanted individuals over to the court," Habilian said quoting the Iraqi Motamar daily.
The report also mentioned that Iraq’s security forces are now in full control of the MKO’s main headquarters and training camp in the Diyala province. Camp Ashraf (now the Camp of New Iraq) was controlled by the US forces from 2003 to 2010.
The MKO has been in Iraq’s Diyala province since the 1980s.
Iraqi security forces took control of the training base of the MKO at Camp Ashraf – about 60km (37 miles) north of Baghdad – earlier this year and detained dozens of the members of the terrorist group.
The Iraqi authority also changed the name of the military center from Camp Ashraf to the Camp of New Iraq.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a letter last year 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.
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.