TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted former Saudi General Intelligence Directorate (GID) Chief Turki al-Faisal for participating in the annual gathering of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR) terrorist group, saying he is going the same path that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein did.
Speaking to reporters upon arrival in Kazakhstan for a ministerial meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states on Tuesday, Zarif lambasted France for hosting the MKO terrorists’ annual gathering.
He said every year, a number of infamous political figures from different countries participate in the gathering giving a speech.
“These people have visible records. People like Bolton and Gingrich have been attending such meetings and supporting the terrorists for years, and it is not a new event and they have always been pursuing the same policy,” Zarif said.
“Unfortunately, the presence of a person who is the manufacturer of both the al-Qaeda and the Taliban and has played a highly disgraceful role in the Saudi regime’s past actions in the region (Turki al-Faisal) has drawn so much attention from the media which shows his lack of competence and wisdom as he has tied his future to the terrorists like what Saddam Hussein did,” he added.
In relevant remarks today, Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht deplored Saudi Arabia and France for their support for the MKO terrorist group.
“We condemn any positive measure or assistance to this terrorist grouplet by any government,” Nobakht told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.
Also, on Monday, Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council (EC) Mohsen Rezayee blasted the Saudi officials for supporting the MKO, and said Tehran is in possession of documents showing Riyadh’s involvement in MKO crimes.
“Today, our message to the al-Saud is that it takes us some time to get angry, but once we feel infuriated, we will leave no trace of al-Saud on the Earth. We take the Saudi government responsible for the assassinations carried out by Monafeqin (Hypocrites as the MKO members are called in Iran) and the anti-revolutionaries and have collected their documents,” said Rezayee, also a former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC.
He referred to the presence of former Saudi General Intelligence Directorate (GID) Chief Turki al-Faisal in the recent MKO terrorist group’s annual gathering in Paris, and said, “He called on them (the MKO) to restart assassinations in Iran. Saudi Arabia’s official support for Monafeqin showed that all assassinations by the grouplet in recent years have been carried out by Saudi Arabia’s support.”
Rezayee said that several months ago, the Saudi officials had held similar meetings with the separatist Kurdish terrorist groups, including the so-called Democratic Party, Komala Party and PJAK (the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan), and a number of assassinations have been carried out in Iran’s Kurdistan region recently.
Also, on Sunday, Head of the IRGC Public Relations Department General Ramezan Sharif rapped Riyadh for supporting the MKO terrorist group, and said the Saudi regime is the center of all supports for terrorist groups in the region.
“The presence of former Saudi General Intelligence Directorate (GID) Chief (Turki al-Faisal) at the MKO meeting in Paris and his sympathy and companionship with them shows the age-old bond between Monafeqin (the Hypocrites as MKO members are called in Iran) terrorist group and the Saudi regime against the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian nation,” Sharif said.
“Today, it has been revealed to the world public opinion that the Saudi regime is the axis of support for the terrorist streams in the region and beyond,” he added.
“Actually, Monafeqin, the ISIL, Taliban, al-Qaeda and tens of other terrorist grouplets spread in the geography of Islam and humanity, commit the biggest crimes against humanity under the leadership and strategies of the US, the Zionist regime and the regional reactionary regimes with the extensive financial supports of the al-Saud,” Sharif said.
On Sunday, former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian underlined that participation of Turki al-Faisal in the annual MKO gathering proves Riyadh’s extensive support for terrorism.
“We shouldn’t doubt in the extensive relations between the Saudi intelligence body and Monafeqin (Hypocrites as the MKO members are called in Iran), specially in recent years,” Amir Abdollahian, who is now an advisor to the Iranian foreign minister, said.
He referred to Faisal’s remarks in the annual gathering of the MKO in Paris on Saturday, and said, “Such comments confirm that extensive financial and security supports for terrorism have always been on Riyadh’s agenda.”
Amir Abdollahian referred to his past meetings with the Saudi officials during which he stressed collective efforts to establish security in the region, and said, “They cannot make the regional countries insecure by using the terrorists instrumentally and then keep Saudi Arabia secure.”
“Saudi Arabia should change its military and security approach in the region and play a constructive role by focusing on the political solutions and halting explicit and implicit support for terrorism,” he added.
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 the 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.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.
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. Hundreds of the MKO terrorists have now been sent to Europe, where their names were taken off the blacklist even two years before the US.
The MKO has assassinated over 12,000 Iranians in the last 4 decades. The terrorist group had even killed large numbers of Americans and Europeans in several terror attacks before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Some 17,000 Iranians have lost their lives in terror attacks in the 35 years after the Revolution.
Rumors were confirmed on Saturday about the death of MKO ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, as a former top Saudi intelligence official disclosed in a gaffe during an address to his followers.
Rajavi’s death was revealed after Turki al-Faisal who was attending the MKO annual gathering in Paris made a gaffe and spoke of the terrorist group’s ringleader as the “late Rajavi” twice.
Faced with Faisal’s surprising gaffe, Rajavi’s wife, Maryam, changed her happy face with a complaining gesture and cued the interpreter to be watchful of translation words and exclude the gaffe from the Persian translation.
By Fars News Agency