A senior Iranian legislator hailed the Iraqi Army for its tough reaction to the armed assault and terrorist activities of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), and said Baghdad’s attitude towards the MKO should be viewed as yet another failure of the US policies in the region.
"The Iraqi government’s confrontation against the Monafeqin (i.e. Hypocrites, as MKO members are called in Iran) was another failure for the US policies in the region," Ali Borouqani told FNA on Monday.
He reminded the United States’ dissatisfaction with the Iraqi government’s stance and policy on the MKO, and said, "No surprise the US voiced opposition to the attacks because the White House supports any terrorist group which runs activities against Iran."
Noting the terrorist nature of the MKO, Borouqani pointed to the group’s black record and long-time hostilities towards the Iranian nation, and reminded that the members of the terrorist group have assassinated a large number of Iranian elites and officials as well as the ordinary citizens.
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 terrorist group alleged that the Iraqi army entered its premises in the Camp of New Iraq on April 2, but the Iraqi army strongly denied the claim.
The Iraqi army denied the MKO’s accusation, underlining that no invasion or military advancement has occurred.
"It’s a replacement of forces, not a new deployment," Brigadier Tarek Azzawi, chief of military operations in Diyala province, North of Baghdad, told AFP.
"The Fifth Division in Diyala has replaced the Ninth Division that protects Ashraf, and we have not advanced even one meter (yard)," he said. "There were no clashes," he added.
The Iraqi government and parliament have repeatedly vowed to expel the group from the country in the near future. A senior Iraqi MP stressed on Sunday 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.
Reminding the crimes committed by the MKO members against the Iraqi people, specially Iraq’s Kurd population, in collaboration with the former Baath regime in previous years, Ali reiterated that the Iraqi government is determined to expel the terrorist group as well.
The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.
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.