Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani hailed the Iraqi Army for its tough reaction to the armed assault and terrorist activities of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization, and underscored that MKO ringleaders should stand trial and be punished for massacring thousands of the Iranian people.
"We thank the Iraqi government and Army for their eventual – although delayed – decision to expel the Monafeqin (hypocrites, as MKO members are called in Iran) from Iraq, and this was Iran’s minimum demand," Amoli Larijani said on Wednesday, addressing a number of Judiciary officials.
"We expect that the MKO ringleaders stand trial for shedding the blood of our innocent youths and martyring our highly esteemed people," he stressed.
Amoli Larijani also underlined that the necessary measures should be taken in a bid to prepare the ground for the safe return of those MKO members who have been deceived by their terrorist ringleaders and have not committed any crime against the Iranian nation.
Local media reported on Wednesday that tens of the members of the MKO have escaped from the group’s main training camp, the Camp of New Iraq, in the Northern Iraqi Diyala province.
The Arabic-language Nahrainnet website said Iraq’s defense ministry has confirmed that scores of defectors have escaped the camp, stressing that the move by the MKO’s members also proves the Iranian officials’ righteous stance who had said earlier that a large number of MKO members wanted to exit the camp and return to Iran but they were incarcerated in the camp by the MKO ringleaders.
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.
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
Numerous articles and letters posted on the Internet by family members of MKO recruits confirm reports of the horrific abuse that the group inflicts on its own members and the alluring recruitment methods it uses.
The most shocking of such stories includes accounts given by former British MKO member Ann Singleton and Mustafa Mohammadi — the father of an Iranian-Canadian girl who was drawn into the group during an MKO recruitment campaign in Canada.
Mohammadi recounts his desperate efforts to contact his daughter, who disappeared several years ago – a result of what the MKO called a ‘two-month tour’ of Camp Ashraf for teenagers.
He also explains how the group forces the families of its recruits to take part in pro-MKO demonstrations in Western countries by threatening to kill their loved ones.
Lacking a foothold in Iran, the terrorist group recruits ill-informed teens from Iranian immigrant communities in Western states and blocks their departure afterwards.
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).
Iraq had announced earlier this month that members of the terrorist group must leave by the end of 2011.