The terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, NCRI or PMOI) has been reporting its activities and operations in Iraq as well as the status quo in the country to the French counterintelligence agency every two weeks for years, a report revealed on Monday.
The MKO leaders were called to the headquarters of the French counterintelligence agency every two weeks to present their intelligence on the situation in Iran, Habilian Association – a human rights NGO representing the families of 17,000 Iranian terror victims – said quoting a report from the Lebanese al-Nahar daily.
“We have had good relations with the French government since 2002 and had regular contacts with the French counterintelligence agency, interior ministry and president’s office,” Spokesman of the MKO in France Afshin Alawi told the AFP according to al-Nahar.
“The counterintelligence agency had some meetings with us at its headquarters so that we present our reports on the events in Iran,” he added.
The MKO, 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.
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 the 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 eventually took the MKO off the US terror list.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September 2012, one week after the then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.