Commander Blasts US, Britain's Support for MKO, Terrorist Groups

A senior Iranian commander lashed out at Washington and London for their support for anti-Iran terrorists groups, including the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), and warned of their plots against the Iranian youths.

"The US and the UK royal regime, who claim to be fighting against terrorism, have provided headquarters and satellite televisions for the MKO to enable the group to attack our youths' hearts and souls," Commander of Iran's Basij (volunteer) forces Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said in a ceremony here in Tehran.

He further pointed to Iraq's call for the expulsion of the terrorist group from the its soil, and added, "25,000 Iraqis have been killed by the MKO at the order of (former Iraqi President) Saddam. Now the Iraqi nation wants to expel them, but the US is guarding them."

Naqdi further warned about MKO's new terrorist tactics against the Iranian nation, and noted that the group hopes to target the soul, personality and thoughts of the Iranian youths.

MKO 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 also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list. The MKO has been in Iraq's Diyala province since the 1980s.

Iraqi security forces took control of the training base of the MKO at Camp Ashraf - about 60km (37 miles) north of Baghdad - in 2009 and detained dozens of the members of the terrorist group. The Iraqi authority also changed the name of the military center from Camp Ashraf to the Camp of New Iraq.