Iran warns support for MKO will backfire on Europeans

February 19, 2022 - 21:42

TEHRAN - A senior Iranian human rights official on Friday warned Europe that its support for the anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) will backfire on them just like the Daesh terrorist group.

Kazem Gharibabadi, the Judiciary chief’s deputy for international affairs and secretary of the High Council for Human Rights, censured the European Parliament for backing the MKO members by referring to them as “political opponents”.

It is shameful for members of the European Parliament to pursue their own political interests and turn a blind eye to the crimes committed by the MKO, which has killed over 12,000 innocent Iranians and still continues its terrorist activities while freely traveling through European countries, he stated.

“The Europeans should know that as their support for Daesh has backfired on them in a way that more than 4,000 Daesh members were European citizens and created insecurity for them, their support for the MKO will equally be costly,” the Iranian human rights chief cautioned, Press TV reported.

Gharibabadi said the United States and Europe have committed the most heinous crimes against Iran by supporting terrorist groups, sheltering them and excluding them from the list of terrorist groups as well as imposing or implementing unlawful and oppressive sanctions.

“The European Parliament and European countries must stand accountable for their human rights violations against Iranians. They are in no position to preach others in the field of human rights,” the top rights official stated.

After it was founded more than 50 years ago, the MKO launched a campaign of bombings and assassinations in Iran. Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks over the past four decades, about 12,000 have fallen victim to the group’s acts of terror.

In a report in November 2018, the British newspaper Guardian reported that Saddam Hussein, who was fighting a bloody war against Iran with the backing of the UK and the U.S., saw an opportunity to deploy the MKO fighters against the Islamic republic. In 1986, he offered the group weapons, cash and a vast military base named Camp Ashraf, only 50 miles from the border with Iran.

For almost two decades, under their embittered leader Massoud Rajavi, the MKO staged attacks against civilian and military targets across the border in Iran and helped Saddam suppress his own domestic enemies. But after siding with Saddam – who indiscriminately bombed Iranian cities and routinely used chemical weapons in a war that cost a million lives – the MKO lost nearly all the support it had retained inside Iran. Members were now widely regarded as traitors.

For most of its life in exile, the MKO was funded by Saddam. After his downfall, the group says it raised money from Iranian diaspora organizations and individual donors. The MKO has always denied it is financed by Saudi Arabia – but Prince Turki al-Faisal, former director of Saudi intelligence agency, made waves when he attended the group’s 2016 rally in Paris and called for the fall of the Iranian government.

“The money definitely comes from Saudis,” says Ervand Abrahamian, a professor at the City University of New York and author of the definitive academic work on the group’s history, The Iranian Mojahedin. “There is no one else who could be subsidizing them with this level of finance.”

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it launched a lavish lobbying campaign to reverse its designation as a terrorist organization – despite reports implicating the group in assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists as recently as 2012, the Guardian said.

Rajavi has not been seen since 2003 – most analysts assume he is dead – but under the leadership of his wife, Maryam Rajavi, the MEK has won considerable support from sections of the U.S. and European right, eager for allies in the fight against Tehran.

The cultish group is currently based in Albania, where it enjoys freedom of activity after being delisted by the European Union and the United States in 2009 and 2012, respectively.

Regardless of its disrepute around the world, the MKO has in recent years held numerous big events, attended by senior American, Israeli and Saudi officials, including former U.S. Senator John McCain, former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, and Turki bin Faisal Al Saud.

Bolton, who has made multiple appearances at events supporting the group, is estimated to have received upwards of $180,000. According to financial disclosure forms, Bolton was paid $40,000 for a single appearance at the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2017.

An Albanian historian and journalist said in a tweet on Thursday that the country’s police have alerted the U.S. embassy that the MKO members are involved in various criminal activities in Europe, including human trafficking, with possible links to Daesh.

Olsi Jazexhi, citing Albanian media reports, said some MKO operatives, headed by the terrorist group’s leader Maryam Rajavi and based in a camp near the capital Tirana, have attempted to traffic over 400 of the group's own members to France.


Gharibabadi also denounced a recent resolution by the European Parliament on death penalty in Iran, saying it is based on political goals and fails to represent the existing realities in the country.

"This resolution encompasses distorted and fabricated issues and is not consistent with the existing realities in Iran, but it has been prepared with completely political purposes."

The official said the execution penalty is being implemented in 55 countries throughout the world and urged the European Parliament and European countries to respect other nations’ laws and cultural diversity when it comes to human rights issues.

According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the death penalty is permissible when it comes to capital crimes, he said, criticizing the Europeans for imposing their own standards on other countries in contradiction to their sovereignty.

Europeans must learn to respect national sovereignty of other countries and know that they cannot support their criminal citizens and demand their release through threats, the Iranian official said.

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