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Iraq’s decision to expel MKO irrevocable

Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh underscored Baghdad’s serious decision for expelling the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq, and said the decision is irreversible.

"Based on the Iraqi government’s decision, the MKO members should leave our country by the end of 2011," al-Sheikh told FNA, and reiterated, "The decision is irreversible and definite."

He also said that Iraqi officials in their different meetings with their counterparts at the EU, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have underlined their seriousness in expelling the MKO from their country’s soil.

"We have always stressed that there is no possibility for their longer presence in Iraq at all and we have declared this to the international organizations," al-Sheikh said.

Earlier this week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the article "building a stable Iraq" published by US daily Washington Post, underlined Baghdad’s determination to end the presence of the terrorist MKO on his country soil.

Al-Maliki pointed to the presence of thousands of MKO terrorists in the main training camp in the country’s Diyala province, and said, "The residents of Camp Ashraf (the Camp of New Iraq) have caused a great deal of controversy here (Iraq) and in the United States. I would like to see this complex issue resolved peacefully and with the help of the United Nations."

"The camp’s residents are classified as a terrorist organization by many countries and thus have no legal basis to remain in Iraq," Maliki added.

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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