With Iraq determined to rid its soil of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), members of the terrorist group set out to seek political asylum in Pakistan.
After the Pakistan-based Jundullah terror group admitted to receiving MKO support and assistance, Iraqi National Security Adviser, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, said the soon-to-be expelled grouplet may decide to move to Pakistan.
The revelations come amid reports that MKO leaders have sought political asylum in Pakistan and have reached out to Jundullah ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi for help.
Pakistani officials, however, have dismissed the reports out of hand, asserting that they would never allow MKO terrorists station themselves in their country and threaten the interests of their neighboring states.
“As part of its efforts to reduce terrorism in the region, Pakistan will not allow MKO refugees set foot on its soil,” said Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit.
In Iran, members of the Mujahiden-e Khalq organizations are regarded as traitors for siding with the Ba’ath regime during the Iraq-imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
The group became especially notorious after they masterminded a torrent of terrorist operations inside Iran, one of which was the 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party, in which more than 72 Iranian officials were killed.
The Mujahedin Khalq Organization, which blended elements of Marxism, Stalinism, and Feminism, took refuge in Iraq after they were exiled from Iran in the 1980’s on charges of terrorism.
They resided in Camp Ashraf in northern Baghdad for the past two decades and were lucky enough to receive protected status following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
However, control of the camp was handed over to Iraqi forces earlier this year and the Baghdad government stepped up efforts to expel the anti-Iran dissidents.
Earlier last week, Iraqi forces engaged in a series of violent clashes with Camp Ashraf residents.
According to Iraqi security forces, 11 MKO members were killed in the two-day raids, while around 300 others were wounded.
The Baghdad government had been warning for months that its patience with the grouplet was wearing thin.
In Iraq, MKO dissidents are seen as “brainwashed cult members from a high-trained terrorist organization” which assissted the Saddam regime to oppress the Iraqi nation.