'West uses MKO to reach goals'

An Iranian lawmaker says the US and Canada move to take the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) off the list of terrorist organizations is in line with the West’s policy to use the group in order to achieve certain objectives in the region.

“The move by the Canadian and the US governments to remove the MKO from the list of terrorist organizations is in line with Western countries’ support of this group in order to use its remaining members for achieving their meddlesome and aggressive political and economic objectives in the region,” Mohammad-Hassan Asafari, a member of Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Friday.

He said that the group was nurtured by Washington and added the US government’s terrorist nature in the region requires that it financially and militarily support terrorist groups like MKO, Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Asafari said that Iran will reconsider its political, economic and cultural relations with any country that would shelter the group, adding that MKO members must be extradited to the Islamic Republic.

On December 20, the Canadian government removed the MKO from its official list of terrorist organizations. Ottawa’s move followed similar measures by the US and EU.

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations on September 28. The European Union had taken the MKO off its black list in 2009.

The MKO is responsible for numerous acts of terror and violence against Iranian civilians and officials.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it received the support of Iraq's executed dictator Saddam Hussein and set up its camp near the Iranian border.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, almost 12000 have fallen victim to the acts of terror carried out by the MKO.

The group also sided with Saddam during Iraq’s eight-year imposed war against the Islamic Republic. It is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.