Azerbaijan, Baku, September 8 / Trend N. Umid /
The recent attack on Camp Ashraf in Iraq has strategic importance in the future developments of the region, deputy Commander in Chief of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Hossein Salami said, Iranian State TV 2 reported.
The U.S. removed the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) from the terrorist groups` list to use the organization in its strategic plans in Iraq, he said, adding that U.S. and PMOI have common interests against Iran and Iraq.
Salami also said that "Iraqi people's attack on Camp Ashraf was more important than all previous operations against the PMOI."
It should be recalled that, commander of the Qods Force of IRGC, Qassem Soleimani said that "more than 50 residents of Camp Ashraf were killed in attack and many were among the leaders of the PMOI, during his speech before the Iranian Assembly of Experts on September 3.
He went on to note that, this operation was more important than the Mersad operation- the last major military operation of the Iran-Iraq war against PMOI and Iraqi forces which ended in a decisive victory for Iran.
On September 1, media outlets informed that clashes and explosions were reported in camp housing of Iranian exiles northeast of Baghdad, but Iraqi officials denied allegations they killed 44 of the group's members in an offensive.
The PMOI with about 100 members living at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province near the Iranian border also claimed security forces set fire to the group's property in the camp.
The UNHCR said it "strongly condemns this attack," adding that "the use of violence against the civilian population is unacceptable in any circumstances."
The UN's mission to Iraq said it was looking into the unrest, and called on the Iraqi government to investigate the incident.
Earlier this year at least eight people were killed in two mortar attacks on another camp housing the group, which is also known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK).
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein allowed the PMOI to set up the camp during the war with Iran in the 1980s.
Around 3,000 PMOI members were moved from Ashraf to Camp Liberty, located on a former US military base on the outskirts of Baghdad, last year, but about 100 stayed on at the old camp in order to deal with leftover property and goods.
The United Nations said it was looking into the incidents, but did not confirm any of the various accounts.
The PMOI was founded in the 1960s to oppose the shah of Iran, and after the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted him it took up arms against Iran's clerical rulers.
It says it has now laid down its arms and is working to overthrow the Islamic regime in Iran by peaceful means.
Britain struck the group off its terror list in June 2008, followed by the European Union in 2009 and the United States in September last year.