Minister: Coordination Underway between Iran, Iraq over MKO Camp

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi stressed Tehran's repeated and strong call for the expulsion of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq during the recent meetings between the two countries' officials, and said Tehran and Baghdad have worked out good coordination over this issue.

"We insist the Iraqis to decide the fate of Camp Ashraf (MKO's main training camp in Iraq) and to pledge to take action very soon," Moslehi told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting here in Tehran on Wednesday. 

"Of course, they have taken good measures that deserve to be praised." 

Yet, Moslehi said Iraqi officials have also taken good measures to boost cooperation with Iran in this regard. "There has been some coordination which we hope to yield its results as soon as possible," he said. 

The minister further reiterated that the MKO terrorists in Camp Ashraf are supported by the US, and added that the recent clash between the Iraqi forces and the MKO members clearly demonstrated the US support for the terrorist group since a number of the wounded MKO members were treated by the US forces. 

Last week, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said his country is in talks with Tehran to decide a future for the MKO terrorist group. 

"We have proposed the formation of a joint committee between Iran, Iraq and the (International Committee of the) Red Cross to resolve the issue (of the MKO) at Camp Ashraf," Zebari said at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi. 

The committee "will discuss the requests of the members of this group who live in Camp Ashraf, particularly those who seek to return to Iran without any pressure or difficulty," Zebari said. 

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. 

The MKO has been in Iraq's Diyala province since the 1980s. The Baghdad government has assured the Iraqi people that it is determined to expel the MKO from Iraq by the end of 2011. 

Meantime, media reports said that the US is trying to convince Iraqi officials to relocate the MKO members within Iraq. Under the US plan, the approximately 3,400 residents of Camp Ashraf would be temporarily relocated within Iraq, farther from the border with Iran, a US State Department official announced. 

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.