Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Iraqi Supreme Court denies accusation against Iranian opposition group

(Voices of Iraq) - The spokesman for the Iraqi Supreme Court denied on Tuesday any official accusation against the Iranian opposition organization of Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MKO). "The Iraqi Supreme Court headed by Aaref al-Shahen appointed me as an official spokesman for the court," Judge Mounir Haddad told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). "The repeated unofficial statements started embarrassing the court," he also said.
The chief prosecution in the Supreme Criminal Court Jaafar al-Mousawi said last month that the organization would face charges on killing and repressing Iraqi Shiite Muslims during the uprising that erupted in southern Iraq following the second Gulf war in 1991. Regarding al-Mousawi's statements, Haddad said that "I asked the chief prosecutor and we discussed the case. It is just a lawsuit moved by al-Mousawi against the Iranian organization and he has not taken any action so far."
"This means that there is nothing against the organization and there is no official accusation issued against it so far," the spokesman affirmed. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabagh said last February that the government would expel members of the (MKO) because of reports on coordination between the MKO and gunmen in Baghdad and Diala.
The Iranian opposition organization of Mujahideen-e-Khalq has been based in Camp Ashraf in Diala province, 57 km northeast of Baghdad, since 1980s during the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war. Many political parties in the Iraqi government have been striving to drive the organization out of the Iraqi territories claiming that the Mujahideen-e-Khalq fighters took part in suppressing the Shiite uprising that broke out in southern Iraq after the second Gulf War in 1991 against the former regime.
COMMENT: The MEK is the primary opposition to the current Iranian government and acts as the focal point of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a coalition of Iranian opposition groups which claims to be the transitional parliament-in-exile with 570 members. The NCRI was headquartered in Iraq, with representative offices in other countries including a presence in Washington where it has previously received support from the US Congress. After the 9/11 attacks however, the US government actively courted cooperation from the government of Iran and further sidelined any unofficial support for the MEK.
The MEK philosophy mixes Marxism and Islam. Formed in the 1960s, the organization was expelled from Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and its primary support came from the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein since the late 1980s. The MEK’s history is filled with anti-Western attacks as well as terrorist attacks on the interests of the clerical regime in Iran and abroad. The MEK now advocates the overthrow of the Iranian regime and its replacement with the group’s own leadership. First designated in October 1997.
Most exiled members live in the camp at Ashraf, north of Baghdad. After Hussein was toppled, the MEK agreed to turn over its weapons to U.S. military officials. In 2004, the U.S. military granted its members the status of "protected persons" under the Geneva Conventions and has since provided security for the camp. COMMENT ENDS.

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