The MKO – listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community – fled Iran in 1986 to Iraq, where it received the support of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up its camp near the Iranian border.”
“What I saw and endured at the MKO’s Camp Ashraf is opposite of what they say here in Europe. There is no freedom for women. They cannot talk to men, wear make-up and are even forced to have abortions… I wanted to leave there for a long time and finally escaped,” said Nasrin Ebrahimi, a former MKO member, in the French capital, Paris.
The MKO – listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community – fled Iran in 1986 to Iraq, where it received the support of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up its camp near the Iranian border.
The Iraqi government later transferred MKO terrorists from Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf, to Camp Liberty, located at the north of Baghdad. They are currently being relocated to other countries such as Albania.
The group is notorious for carrying out numerous acts of terror against Iranian civilians and officials and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds in the country’s north under Saddam.
Edward Termado, another former member, said, “We did not have [access to] internet, we did not have [access to] news, news was under their control. When I came out [of Camp], I did not know what a mobile is… in 2001.”
He added that the MKO leaders “do not understand democracy… they are dictators, and I call her [an MKO leader Maryam Rajavi] small dictator.”
Jahangir Shadanlou, a social worker for former MKO members, said executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein paid the terrorist group USD 30 million dollars a month to attack and spy on Iran.
“They made a lot of foreign investments with this money. The MKO is a group of Fifth columnists, which has spied and fought against the Iranian people in hopes that one day foreign powers would reward them by putting them in charge of Iran,” Shadanlou added.
In the past few years, MKO and its sympathizers have invested considerable financial resources to bring high-profile speakers to rallies and gatherings in the United States and Europe to back the terrorist group.
In 2012, the US Treasury Department investigated former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell for receiving USD 150,000 or 160,000 from the MKO in return for his speeches in favor of the group.
Rendell was among a group of former US officials who accepted money to deliver speeches calling for the removal of the MKO from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
The group included former FBI Director Louis Freeh; two former CIA directors James Woolsey and Porter Goss; former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey; President George W. Bush’s first homeland security secretary Tom Ridge and President Obama’s first national security adviser Gen. James L. Jones as well as prominent Republicans, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, and Democrats like Howard Dean, a former governor of Vermont.
According to a report by New York Times, these officials received fees of USD 10,000 to USD 50,000 for speeches on behalf of the Iranian group.
The MKO was taken off the State Department’s blacklist on September 28, 2012.