Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, in a meeting with Iraqi Defense Minister Sadun Farhan Al-Dulaymi, expressed his gratitude to the Baghdad government for the expulsion of the members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI).
Shamkhani condemned MKO’s terrorist acts against the Iraqi citizens and pilgrims, and said, “I appreciate the efforts made by the Iraqi government and nation in pursuing the expulsion of the MKO terrorist group.”
The Iraqi defense minister, for his part, pointed to the common culture and civilization of the two nations, and demand using Iran’s experiences.
On September 1, over 50 MKO members, including top commanders, were killed in an attack inside the terrorist group’s notorious Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala province. There were around 100 MKO members in the camp at the time.
The attack came at the hands of a group of Iraqi people and the relatives of those martyred by the terrorists when they had joined forces with executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, in 1991 to crush an uprising by Iraqi Shiites. The Iraqis who stormed the terror camp further demanded the immediate expulsion of all MKO terrorists from their country.
Hejazi described the attack as a natural reaction of the Iraqi people against the MKO, and said they had earlier gathered in front of Camp Ashraf and called for the expulsion of the MKO members but they didn’t evacuate the Camp and the Iraqi nation's wrath killed them.
Earlier this month, Iran's Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi-Tabar described the fall of the MKO headquarters in Camp Ashraf as a natural outcome for an organization that has based its activities on criminal acts.
“The ruinous fate of the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) was quite foreseeable, as any group that turns against its own nation is doomed to fall,” Alavi-Tabar said.
The Iranian intelligence minister stressed that the MKO actions enraged the Iraqi nation, and the criminal members of the group were ultimately consumed by their wrath.
The last group of MKO terrorists at Camp Ashraf, now called Camp New Iraq, was evicted by the Iraqi government on September 11 to join other members of the terrorist group in the former US-held Camp Liberty, now called Camp Hurriya, near Baghdad International Airport where they are awaiting relocation to other countries.
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 the 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 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 the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the 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.