Iraq's President Jalal Talabani says a committee has been formed to shut down a camp belonging to the anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).
“The government of Iraq will do all it can to prevent terrorism. We should attempt to close down MKO terrorists' Ashraf Camp and we shall remove all those people. Those who are willing will go back to Iran. Others will go wherever they want to,” Talabani said in a speech during an anti-terrorism conference in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Saturday.
“A committee has been formed to shut down Camp Ashraf in order to help establish security for our neighbors,” he went on to say.
Talabani pointed out that the committee was formed by Iran, Iraq and the International Red Cross, reiterating that the camp would be closed by the end of 2011.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari also said during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi earlier that the camp would be shut down and its members would leave Iraq by the end of 2011.
The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community and is responsible for numerous acts of terror and violence against Iranian civilians and government officials.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Iraq's executed dictator Saddam Hussein and set up Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border. The organization is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.
Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group, but the US has been blocking the expulsion by pressuring the Iraqi government.
Iran is among the victims of terrorism as more than 17,000 Iranians, including senior officials, have lost their lives in various terror attacks since the victory of the Islamic Revolution some thirty years ago. Out of the 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attack, 12,000 of them have fallen victim to acts of terror carried out by the MKO.