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News number: 8711021614

19:36 | 2009-01-22

Foriegn Policy

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Tehran Urges Baghdad to End MKO Presence in Iraq

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi called for increased efforts by the Iraqi government to put an end to the presence of the anti-Iran terrorist group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), in the country.

"The group members have committed many crimes against the people of Iran and Iraq during the past years," Shahroudi said in a meeting with Iraqi National Security Adviser Muwafaq Al-Rubaie in Tehran on Wednesday.

The MKO, which is blacklisted by much of the international community including the United States, has been in Iraq's Diyala province since the 1980s.

The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).

Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.

Elsewhere, the Iranian judiciary chief noted the recent war in Gaza and resistance of Palestinian people, and stressed the necessity for Muslims and Islamic states to support Gaza.

"The US and European countries supported the Zionist regime during Israelis' brutal offense on Gaza. We expect Muslim countries defend oppressed people of Gaza as well."

On the current conditions in Iraq, Shahroudi praised Baghdad for resorting peace and stability in the country, and said, "The Iraqi government has already done well in establishing stability and security."

Rubaie, for his part, elaborated on the decision and measures adopted by the Iraqi government for expelling the MKO, and assured the Iranian official that Baghdad would not tolerate prolonged presence of the terrorist group in Iraq.

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.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.