Iraqi Politician: US Using MKO, Terrorism as Means of Leverage

    TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iraqi politician condemned the delisting of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from the US terror list, and complained that Washington is using terrorism as a tool to exert pressure on other parties.

    "Dangerous concepts such as terrorism have become a tool at the service of the US policies and a leverage to pressure different parties," Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim said on Saturday.

    He criticized the United States' "double standard attitude" towards the MKO (also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR), and underlined the terrorist nature of the grouplet.

    "The grouplet is definitely a terrorist organization," Hakim underscored.

    His remarks came after the US State Department on Friday removed the MKO from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

    The decision made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement on Friday.

    Earlier this month, the seventh and last group of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq.

    The last group of the evacuees included 680 terrorists. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty which lies Northeast of the Baghdad International Airport.

    Camp Liberty is a transient settlement facility and a last station for the MKO in Iraq.

    Earlier this year, the Iraqi government set a new deadline for the MKO to evacuate its members from Camp Ashraf by October this year.

    The MKO cannot find a shelter outside Iraq as it is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.

    The MKO is blacklisted by much of the international community.

    Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.

    The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).

    Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.

    The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.

    The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution 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 group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

    The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

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