The ringleaders of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization have pleaded the Iraqi government to avoid closing down the terrorist group’s main training base in Northern Iraq and extend the MKO’s presence in the country, a human rights group revealed on Sunday.
The Habilian association, a human rights group formed of the family members and relatives of the Iranian victims of terrorism, announced on Sunday that the MKO ringleaders who had earlier claimed ownership of Camp Ashraf and violated Iraq’s territorial integrity have now resorted to mediators to ask the Iraqi government to rent the Camp to them.
According to the human rights group, the Iraqi government has rejected the demand, stressing that it would never enter negotiations with foreigners over Camp Ashraf, which it described as an occupied part of Iraq.
In a bold and surprising action, Massoud Rajavi, the main ringleader of the terrorist group, had announced earlier that he would evacuate the MKO members from Camp Ashraf only if he received $200mln from the Baghdad government.
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 Baghdad government has assured Iranian officials and people that it is determined to expel the MKO from Iraq by the end of 2011.
"Expulsion of the MKO from Iraq’s soil and termination of its presence which has lasted for several years is a definite decision," Iraqi Government Spokesman Ali Al-Dabbaq told FNA in April, adding, "The MKO will be expelled from Iraq by the end of the current year."
"The only option for the members of the MKO is leaving Iraq and they have no other choice," he reiterated.
Reminding to the black record of the terrorist group and its crimes against the Iraqi people, Dabbaq said, "Collaboration with the former Iraqi dictator and massacre of thousands of our people is just part of their crimes".
Baghdad had earlier this month announced that members of the terrorist group must leave Iraq’s soil by the end of 2011.
Dabbaq announced in early April that the cabinet is determined to shut down Camp Ashraf located North of the capital, Baghdad, and disband the terrorist group.
"The council of ministers has committed to implement an earlier decision about disbanding the terrorist group by the end of this year at the latest, and the necessity of getting it out of Iraq," the official noted.
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.