An Iranian intelligence official said the security forces in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan arrested 60 elements that had links with the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) last year.
Head of the Intelligence Ministry’s office in East Azarbaijan province said the intelligence forces have arrested a number of spies and infiltrators in the provincial organizations.
He also noted that the MKO terrorist group intensified its efforts in the previous year to take advantage of the economic woes in Iran, adding that 60 elements affiliated with the MKO’s leading members have been arrested.
The detainees had plans to acquire arms and carry out terrorist operations, he added.
The MKO or MEK – listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community – fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq and was given a camp by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
They fought on the side of Saddam during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-88). They were also involved in the bloody repression of Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq in 1991 and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.
The notorious group is also responsible for killing thousands of Iranian civilians and officials after the victory of the Islamic revolution in 1979.
More than 17,000 Iranians, many of them civilians, have been killed at the hands of the MKO in different acts of terrorism including bombings in public places, and targeted killings.