Iran arrests suspect linked to terrorist MKO in Mashhad

Iran's security forces have arrested a person linked to the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) who was planning to carry out acts of sabotage in the holy city of Mashhad.

Judge Hassan Heydari, deputy for political and security affairs at the Prosecutor’s Office in Mashhad, said the 37-year-old suspect sought to infiltrate certain guilds on the eve of Workers' Day and Teachers' Week in Iran.

"The suspect, who had long been under surveillance for contact with the agents of the terrorist group of the hypocrites (MKO), was arrested by judicial order and the investigation continues," he said.

Peaceful protests over economic conditions in Mashhad last December quickly degenerated into unruly riots which spread into a few other towns, with authorities saying terrorist groups such as the MKO played a role. 

The MKO has a dark history of assassinations and bombings against the Iranian government and nation. It notoriously sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.

The group has been behind most of the terrorist attacks which have claimed the lives of nearly 17,000 Iranians since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979.

Initially designed as a terrorist organization by Europe and the US, the group has established close links with Western political parties. 

In recent years, several media reports have emerged about top political figures in the US and Europe receiving money from the MKO to speak favorably of the terrorist group.