Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi has lashed out at the Western countries over their support for the anti-Iran, terrorist group of Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).
Brigadier General Vahidi told IRNA on Wednesday that the MKO has been created through the support of certain Western countries.
"The continuation of the MKO’s presence in Iraq to go on with terrorist activities has grown so important [for the West] that they now stress the persistence of such presence,” the Iranian defense minister pointed out.
He also said the fact that the MKO carries out its activities in the Western countries demonstrates the West’s support for terrorism.
Western countries are overtly seeking to maintain the terrorist activities of the MKO, and all their efforts are intended for that purpose, he said.
A prominent American investigative journalist recently said the former US administration supported the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) by training its members at a secret site in Nevada.
“The site, some 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, was once used for nuclear testing, and now includes a counterintelligence training facility and a private airport capable of handling Boeing 737 aircraft,” Seymour Hersh wrote in an article published in The New Yorker online weekly magazine on April 5.
“It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq,” he added.
The American journalist went on to say that a former US intelligence official had told him that the administration of George W. Bush began providing MKO agents with training in Nevada in 2005.
“’We did train them here, and washed them through the Energy Department because the DOE (Department of Energy) owns all this land in southern Nevada,’ a former senior American intelligence official told me. ‘We were deploying them over long distances in the desert and mountains, and building their capacity in communications-coordinating … is a big deal,’” he wrote.
He further noted that MKO members were trained in areas geographically similar to those in “northwest Iran.”
The MKO fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up its camp near the Iranian border.
The group is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds. The group has carried out numerous acts of violence against Iranian civilians and government officials.
Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group, but the US has attempted to block the expulsion by mounting pressure on the Iraqi government.