Press TV – The US-backed Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) has a dark history of assassinations and bombings targeting both Iranian statesmen and people, making the country one of the major victims of terrorism in the world.
The dying group, which is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community, had collaborated with the former US-backed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his imposed war on Iran in the 1980s in addition to killing as many as 12,000 Iranians in a violent campaign of terrorist bombings.
Despite the group’s gruesome terror campaign early after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, the MKO was effectively neutralized in the country and forced to seek refuge in Iraq under the protection of Saddam Hussein.
Known to most other countries by another acronym, the MEK, the terrorist group is financed by the Saudis, publicized by the Israelis and following America’s agenda.
Removing its decade-long ban on the MKO, the United States has used the group as a tool to pressure Iran over the past years.
Despite US and Saudi attempts to empower the MKO, the cult-like group’s activities have been largely limited to its now aging pool of members who had originally joined the group in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
According to the British daily The Guardian, the MKO is even known to rely on busing refugees and young eastern Europeans to fill up its lavish events in Europe, where most of the group’s members are known to reside.
The group throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, with certain American, Western, and Saudi officials as its guests of honor.
These include former US national security advisor John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former Saudi Arabian spy chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal.
The group is well-known for its reliance on fake social media profiles to push for its Washington-backed anti-Iran agenda.
Last year, Iranian Foreign Minster Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed Twitter for blocking social media accounts of “real Iranians” while overlooking social media influence operations coming from “actual bots in Tirana,” referring to the group’s large complex near the Albanian capital.
Amid the Trump Administration’s heightened rhetoric and campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, the MKO has also sought to gain further support from Washington and its allies by expanding its anti-Iran operations.
Back in June, an unverified audio tape leaked from the organization suggested the group may have colluded with foreign powers in carrying out mysterious explosions targeting two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf in June.
The terrorist group also announced a plan to assassinate commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Qassem Soleimani and the country’s new Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeisi.
Reports have also shown that the Saudi intelligence agency has provided the MKO with vast funding, especially since main elements of the group were purged from their old bastion in Iraq more than a decade ago.
The MKO was once listed as a terrorist organization in the US and Europe and is still widely viewed as a Marxist cult built around the personality of its leader, Maryam Rajavi.
Some of its uncouth practices include forcing the group’s male members to divorce their wives and have them married to Rajavi’s husband Massoud.
The terrorist group is also known for its extremely suppressive control over members in its camps where access to the Internet and other information sources is prohibited.