MKO would leave Iraq by March: ambassador
April 27, 2011
TEHRAN - The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad has predicted that the members of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) would leave Iraq by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which started on March 21.The Iraqi government has issued a declaration and the Iraqi cabinet has approved a ratification, both of which require that the MKO members leave Iraq, Ambassador Hassan Danaiifar told the Mehr News Agency in an interview published on its website on Tuesday.
The Iraqi National Coalition and other political groups in Iraq as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maleki and President Jalal Talebani are seeking the expulsion of the MKO members, Danaiifar stated.
“We think that would happen this year since the expulsion of MKO members is the demand of the Iraqi government and nation,” he added.
On April 8, following orders of the government and in line with the new Iraqi Constitution, the Iraqi army tried to dismantle the terrorist group’s residential area, called Camp Ashraf, but the MKO members residing in the camp clashed with the Iraqi soldiers.
The Iraqi government has also set a deadline for Camp Ashraf residents to leave the country.
Recently Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said, “The Iraqi Constitution prohibits the presence of mujahedin or any other militia groups from neighboring countries, whether it’s the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), whether it’s the PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan), or whoever to have presence on Iraqi territory and to launch attacks against our neighbors. Constitutionally, this is not allowed and the mujahedin of the Ashraf Camp have to respect Iraqi law.”
On April 13, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad announced that Camp Ashraf residents can return to Iran under certain conditions.
“These persons can travel to Iran or any other country if they are willing to do so and if no criminal case has been filed against them in Iran or Iraq. They will also be given passports,” Danaiifar stated at the time.
-- A number of Iranians imprisoned in Iraq may be granted clemency
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ambassador Danaiifar announced that the Iraqi president has made a promise of cooperation to take measures necessary to grant clemency to a number of Iranians held in Iraqi prisons.
So far a list of 200 Iranian prisoners has been submitted to the Iraqi officials, he added.
However, the prisoners would be granted clemency “on condition that they do not enter Iraq without passport again and take the officials’ recommendations seriously, since illegal entry into Iraq will create enormous problems for them and 6 years’ imprisonment will await them, which is not a short time,” Danaiifar stated.