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News number: 9107111674

17:47 | 2012-10-09

Politics

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Iran Condemns US Politically Tainted Attitude towards Terrorist MKO

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi condemned the US policy towards the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI), and said that listing this grouplet among terrorist organizations and delisting it were both politically driven and not based on anti-terrorism criteria.



"The US has always been in contact with the MKO and supported the group, but had listed it as a terrorist organization due to some political considerations," Vahidi said on Tuesday, adding, "The members of the MKO terrorist group were active in the US in the past and received various kinds of help."

The Iranian defense minister said that removing the MKO from the list of terrorist organization proves that Washington is not honest in its fight against terrorism.

"The US is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world, therefore it cannot be regarded as the flag-bearer of the fight against terrorism," Vahidi said.

The MKO is blacklisted by much of the international community.

On September 28, the US State Department removed the MKO from its list of foreign terrorist organizations. The decision made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.

Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.

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.

The 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.

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.