Iran MP criticizes UN chief attempts to find asylum for MKO terrorists

An Iranian lawmaker has criticized the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recent call on countries to grant asylum to the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).

“The MKO terrorist cell is under the guardianship and leadership of the US, and the UN chief has asked UN member states to give asylum to the MKO based on a direct order from this country (US),” said Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani on Sunday.

“Ban Ki-moon took office with help from the West and the US and, therefore, to maintain his position, he has no choice but to follow their orders,” the member of the Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Committee added.

“This cell has been reared by Western and particularly US dollars, and has turned into a major challenge for all world countries today. Neither Iran, nor Iraq, and not even the Western governments or the US want to accept the members [of this cell],” Ardestani stated.

The lawmaker noted that the US wants to settle MKO members in one of Iran’s neighbors like Turkey or Azerbaijan so that it can use them when necessary to carry out acts of sabotage and to create problems.

The MKO, which is responsible for the deaths of 17,000 Iranians since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, fled to the neighboring Iraq in the 1980s. The group received military training from former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and set up Camp Ashraf in the eastern province of Diyala near the Iranian border.

On September 21, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent Congress a classified communication about removing the MKO from the US terror watch list.

The group, which had been described by the US State Department as a "foreign terrorist organization” for the past 15 years, was formally removed from Washington’s list of terror organizations one week after Clinton’s communication.