US urges MKO for cooperation

A US Department of State official has denounced MKO leadership for lack of cooperation in terms of allowing the group members to leave the Iraqi soil.

According to Los Angeles Times, Beth Jones, the acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs at the US State Department, told a House foreign Affairs subcommittee Wednesday that although U.S. officials have worked hard to persuade the group's leadership to cooperate in the departures, "very few have been allowed to move."

The State Department official responsible for Near Eastern affairs appealed the group for cooperation.

The report adds that although the MKO’s leadership signed an agreement with the U.N. and Iraq last year to abandon their longtime base, Camp Ashraf, in Diyala province, the leadership seems reluctant to move the group's members from Iraq. They apparently prefer to remain and continue their effort to overthrow the Iranian government, diplomats say.

The group's leadership, based in Paris, is apparently refusing to allow their tightly controlled subordinates to cooperate with the U.N. screening required before resettlement can be arranged.

After refusing for years to leave Camp Ashraf, most of the residents began leaving in September for a temporary base. About 100 members, determined not to give up their fight and convinced that world powers have betrayed them, remain.

Mujahedin Khalq leaders say they don't want the group resettled in small numbers in many countries, but instead moved as a single group to new homes in the United States or Europe.

Only about 200 people were slated to go to Albania. U.S. and U.N. officials say that because of lingering concern about the tendencies of a militant group that was on the U.S. list of terrorist groups from 1997 to 2012, no country will take all of them.


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