TEHRAN (FNA)- An Iranian envoy to the UN blasted former New York Mayor Rodolph Giuliani for throwing his weight behind the cult-like Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, PMOI and NCR), a terrorist grouping responsible for the assassination of more than 17,000 Iranian citizens.
In a press release sent to Fox News in response to an op-ed by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, “Team Obama keeps miscalculating Iran — ‘change’ under Rouhani is a mirage” that appeared in Fox News Opinion on May 7, head of the Press Office for the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in New York, Hamid Babaei said, “Mr. Guiliani’s warm embrace of the MEK terrorist organization is shocking and deplorable.”
“Journalists and think tanks across the world have sounded the alarm regarding the ‘cult-like’ practices of the MEK, such as forcing members to give up their children in order to dedicate more time to the cause, and their decades long reign of terror and brutality has been well established by many including the US Department of State when it designated it as terrorist organization in 1997 while describing it as a “repressive cult despised by most Iranians and Iraqis,” the envoy said.
“But through what the RAND Corp. called ‘cultic practices and its deceptive recruitment and public relations strategies’ as well as giving millions of dollars to politicians and lobbyists in Washington — where it seems everyone has a price tag as campaign donation or ‘speakers fees’, the MEK managed to get itself removed from the list,” he added.
The envoy reminded that the group supported Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war and played a major role in the violent crackdown on the civilian uprising in the early 90s while living in Iraq as a private militia for Saddam Hussein.
“The people of Iraq despise them and want them out, as well they should,” he concluded.
Many of the MKO members have abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the grouplet are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A recent Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
The MKO, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
In September 2012, the last groups of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq’s Diyala province. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty transient facility near Baghdad.
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