Iraqi police officials announced on Monday that they have arrested 11 members of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) in al-Khalis town in Diyala, North East of Iraq.
The revelation came from Iraq's police sources who also said that two of the detainees had fake US passports, three others had Iranian passports and the rest were former Iraqi Army officers who had come from Camp Ashraf, the MKO's main stronghold in Iraq.
The US embassy in Baghdad has taken custody of those terrorists who had American passports, the source said, adding that the individuals seemed to work for a security firm.
The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
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 also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
Since the beginning of this year, the Baghdad government has repeatedly assured Iranian officials and people that it is determined to expel the MKO from Iraq by the end of 2011.
On Sunday, Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh underscored Baghdad's serious decision for expelling the MKO from Iraq, and said the decision is irreversible.
"Based on the Iraqi government's decision, the MKO members should leave our country by the end of 2011," al-Sheikh told FNA, and reiterated, "The decision is irreversible and definite."