Baghdad to exert pressure on EU to expel MKO members from Iraq

The Iraqi government has decided to increase pressures on the European Union to make it find a host country for the rapid resettlement of the members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), an Iraqi lawmaker said.

According to a report by Habilian Association, a human rights NGO representing the families of Iranian terror victims, Fowad al-Dorki, a senior member of the Iraqi State of Law Coalition at the Iraqi parliament told Russian Ria Novosti news agency that the MKO is very unpopular among the Iraqi people, especially in Khalis region in the country's Northern province of Diyala due to its collaboration with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in suppressing the Iraqi people.

He pointed to the people's increasing pressures on Baghdad to expel the MKO members from Iraq's soil, and said, "The government is working with the UN to expel the MKO members and will exert more pressure on the EU to find a place for their relocation."

In February, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on the UN to speed up the process of expulsion of the members of the MKO from Iraq.

Ali Al-Moussavi, a senior advisor to the Iraqi prime minister, announced that Maliki has met with Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Iraq over the UN's activities in Iraq, including the transfer of the MKO from the country.

Moussavi said that Maliki has asked the UN representative to fulfill his pledge to rapidly implement expulsion of the MKO members from Iraq's soil.

The advisor stated that Maliki has told Kobler that "Iraq can no more tolerate" the terrorist organization's members and will not extend their presence in Iraq "even for one single hour", reiterating that any MKO overstay in Iraq will be illegal.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) monitors the transfer of Camp Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty which lies Northeast of the Baghdad International Airport.

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 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 argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after former 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 US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.

In September 2012, the last groups of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq's Diyala province. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty.


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