Iraq tells US: Don’t delist MKO as a terrorist group

Iraq has denounced the United States’ plan to remove the anti-Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq ‎Organization (MKO) from the US State Department's list of terrorist organizations.‎

The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community, including Iraq, ‎and has committed numerous terrorist acts against Iranians and Iraqis. The group also cooperated with ‎former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the massacres of Iraqi Kurds and in suppressing the ‎‏1991‏‎ ‎uprisings in southern Iraq.‎

According to a statement issued on Sunday by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office, the Iraqi ‎government said that Washington’s decision of delisting the MKO as a terrorist group would not ‎change Baghdad’s position toward the group “which was involved in terrorist acts against Iraqis, in ‎addition to its role in defending the former (Saddam Hussein) regime.”‎

The statement also said that Baghdad is determined to expel members of the terrorist organization ‎from Camp Ashraf, and called on the United Nations to fulfill its commitment to resettle the group ‎members outside Iraq.‎

On September ‎‏21‏‎, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified ‎communication about the decision.‎

‎"I am not in a position to confirm the contents of this, because it's classified, but we anticipate being ‎able to make a public announcement about it sometime before October ‎‏1‏‎," State Department ‎spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said later in the day.‎

Two unnamed US officials said that the decision would be officially announced next week.‎

The MKO fled to Iraq in the ‎‏1980‏s, where it enjoyed the support of Saddam Hussein and set up Camp ‎Ashraf in the eastern province of Diyala, near the Iranian border.‎

‎ According to US officials, there are about ‎‏1,200‏‎ to ‎‏1,400‏‎ MKO members currently residing at Camp ‎Ashraf, while some ‎‏2,000‏‎ have relocated to the new base outside of Baghdad since February.‎

Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group, but the US has been putting ‎pressure on Baghdad to resist the calls.‎‎‏2012/09/24/263239‏‎/iraq-to-us-dont-take-mko-off-terror-list/‎