Riyadh is financing the launch of a satellite channel for the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI), an informed Iraqi diplomat said.
"Our information shows that Saudi officials are behind the financial backings for the launch of a satellite TV network for the MKO terrorist group with the aim of propaganda against the ruling system in Iran," he told Ashraf News Website.
"MKO members living in Europe have met Saudi ambassador to London Mohammed bin Nawaf al-Saud and asked him to support the channel," the source said, adding that the Saudi official has accepted to provide financial backup for the project if the channel’s policies are set by Riyadh.
The channel named "Raha" will work in line with the policies of the al-Arabiya News Channel’s editorial policy. At least 45 people are currently working in the office of the TV channel in London.
The MKO terrorist group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
Leaders of the group have been fighting to shed its terrorist tag after a series of bloody anti-Western attacks in the 1970s, and nearly 33 years of violent struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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.