Iraq, UN agree to expel MKO members from Iraq by year-end
In a meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the United Nations secretary general's special representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, called for the expulsion of the members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraqi soil by the end-of-year deadline, Mehr reported.
In the meeting, the two sides emphasized the importance of cooperation between the UN and the Iraqi government in regard to the expulsion of the MKO members, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported.
MKO started assassination of the citizens and officials after the Islamic revolution in Iran in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The MKO fled to Iraq in the 1980s, where it enjoyed the support of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and set up Camp Ashraf in the eastern province of Diyala, near the Iranian border. Over 3,000 MKO members are currently residing at the camp.
The U.S. designated the MKO a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997; the group is still on the list. Britain and the European Union took the group off their terrorist lists in 2008 and 2009 respectively after court rulings that found no evidence of terrorist actions after the MKO renounced violence in 2001.