The terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization sparked the armed conflict with the Iraqi security forces responsible for guarding the camp in a move to kill its dissident members during the clashes, said an Iraqi commander who was present on the scene of clashes last week.
According to a report published by the website of the Habilian association – a human rights group formed of the family members and relatives of the Iranian victims of terrorism – the Iraqi commander, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the move by the MKO was not unprecedented since the group had previously forced its dissident members to start armed clashes with the Iraqi forces.
"The MKO’s foremost front was formed of the dissident members of the group during the recent clash. They were forced to be there and be killed," the Iraqi commander reiterated.
Iran on Saturday praised the Iraqi Army for taking prompt action and standing against the terrorist group.
"The presence of any terrorist organization on Iraqi soil, to use it as a launch pad and to conduct operations against Iraq’s neighbors, is not accepted by Iraq’s own constitution," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters on Saturday.
"Iraqis must not allow activities of such groups and not shelter such terrorist groups. We appreciate the move by the Iraqi government," Salehi said.
Also earlier today, the Iranian Supreme Leader’s Advisor for Military Affairs, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, praised the Iraqi Army for its recent attack on the strongholds of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), and asked Baghdad to continue attacking the terrorist base until its destruction.
Speaking to FNA here on Monday, Safavi praised Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki for having ordered the attack on the criminal Monafeqin (i.e. Hypocrites, as MKO members are called in Iran) "and we hope that such measures will continue until the Monafeqin are fully purged from the country".
He reminded the 1991 massacre of the Iraqi people by the Baath regime in collaboration with the MKO, and expressed the hope that the Iraqi government would continue its attacks against the terrorist group and expel all its members from the country.
Pointing to the crimes committed by the terrorist group against the Iranian nation, Safavi reminded that the MKO has martyred 12,000 Iranian people since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.
On Sunday, a senior Iraqi MP said that the Iraqi people, legislators and government are all resolved to expel the MKO from their country’s soil immediately.
"The Iraqi people and parliament seek expulsion of MKO from their country’s soil and they want to end its presence in Iraq, which has lasted for several years," Hossein Ali told FNA yesterday.
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 – in 2009 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, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.
Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.
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 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.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.