Iraq no longer safe haven for Mujahedeen: Iranian official
TEHRAN: Iraq has ceased being a safe haven for militants of the armed Iranian opposition Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) now that Saddam Hussein’s regime is gone, Iranian newspapers quoted a top official as saying Sunday.
“Iraq is no longer a safe haven for MEK members since they were accomplices of the Saddam regime and cooperated in killings of Kurds and Shiite Muslims in Iraq,” Iranian intelligence minister Ali Younesi said.
“The threat posed to the nation by these terrorist groups from the early years of the 1979 Islamic Revolution has vanished because developments in Iraq have made the situation very tough for them.”
Younesi said Iran would grant amnesties to Mujahedeen who had not committed murder or assassinations if they returned home and halted terrorist activities.
He said seven or eight members of the organization, also known as the People’s Mujahedeen, had come back to Iran in the past week and provided information on activities carried out by the MEK.
He commented on an accord between US forces and the group, saying each side does not trust the other and were only pursuing their own objectives.
US forces reached a disarmament deal with the People’s Mujahedeen Saturday, US General Ray Odierno said.
Odierno said the group’s cooperation with US forces and its commitment to democracy in Iran meant its status as a “terrorist organisation” in Washington should be reviewed.
Under the agreement, the Mujahedeen’s 4,000 to 5,000 troops — many of whom were educated in the United States and Europe — are to gather at one of their camps in northeastern Iraq.q.
Washington and Tehran do not have formal diplomatic relations, and US President George W. Bush labelled Iran as part of an “axis of evil” last year along with Saddam’s Iraqi regime and communist North Korea.
The MEK, outlawed in Iran owing to a record of political assassinations, bombings and terror actions since 1981, has been based in neighbouring Iraq for the past 18 years. —AFP