Iraqi people, similar to the Iranians, hate the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) due to the numerous crimes committed by the terrorist group in both countries, Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Forces Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said.
"Fortunately, this criminal group has no opportunity and position among the Iraqi people (to revive itself) and Iraqis hate the group members for their crimes and their assistance to Saddam," Naqdi told FNA.
The commander further pointed to the Iraqi Army’s recent attacks against the strongholds of the MKO in Camp Ashraf in the Northern Diyala province, and reiterated that Iraq’s attitude towards the terrorist group is completely natural.
Iraqis hate the MKO much and the only reason for the presence of the group in Iraq is the US support for this terrorist cult, he added.
The MKO is today just a tool in the hands of the Americans who have been defeated by Iran and resort to any means to survive in the confrontation against Iran, he said and added, "Hence, the United States tries to make use of the terrorist group’s potentials to inflict damage on the Islamic Republic."
The US is dissatisfied with the Iraqi government’s stance and policy on the MKO, and has voiced opposition to the recent attacks by the Iraqi Army against the terrorist group’s stronghold near Baghdad.
The MKO alleged on Sunday that Iraqi forces had invaded the Camp Ashraf base, saying, "The forces of Iraq’s Fifth Division invaded Camp Ashraf with columns of armored vehicles, occupying areas inside the camp, since midnight on Saturday."
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.
Earlier, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) General Hossein Salami had underlined that the MKO which has committed numerous crimes against the Iranian nation should be dissolved immediately.
"The disarmament of the Monafeqin (i.e. Hypocrites, as MKO members are called in Iran) is not an important issue but the main issue is the existence of the group which should be dissolved," General Salami reiterated on Sunday.
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 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.