Iraqi Official Reiterates Definite Expulsion of MKO

A senior Iraqi foreign ministry official underlined Iraqi government’s determination to expel the Acting Deputy of Iraqi Foreign Minister Labid Abawi terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq’s soil, stressing that they have no option but to leave the country.

"The sole option for the members of the MKO is to go out of Iraq. They will have no other option," Acting Deputy of Iraqi Foreign Minister Labid Abawi told FNA on Wednesday.

"The Iraqi government’s decision on the case is definite and the decision has been made based on the country’s constitution because based on the law no armed group is allowed to be present on Iraq’s soil," Abawi noted.

Earlier, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that Baghdad will definitely expel the terrorist group from Iraq’s soil by the near future.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his visiting Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi in Baghdad, Zebari said, "MKO’s expulsion from Iraq by the end of 2011 is definite."

"Based on agreements, MKO members will be expelled from Iraq’s soil at the end of 2011 and should be transferred to a third country," the Iraqi minister reiterated.

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.

Since the beginning of this year, the Baghdad government has repeatedly assured Iranian officials and people that it is determined to expel the MKO from Iraq by the end of 2011.

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