PMOI responds to Iraqi expulsion order

June 18, 2008 at 4:41 PM
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BAGHDAD, June 18 (UPI) -- The People's Mujahedin of Iran Wednesday formally condemned a move by the Iraqi Parliament calling for the expulsion of its members from the country.

The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance bloc and the Kurdistan Alliance Tuesday introduced a bill to Parliament demanding the People's Mujahedin of Iran, known variously as MKO or PMOI, leave the country.

"The cabinet decided to ban any dealings with this organization by any Iraqi or foreign individual, organization or party," Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Tuesday.

The group responded in a statement Wednesday saying the government was responding to "hysterical pressures" exerted on Baghdad from Tehran, the Iranian Press TV reported.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Tuesday those who violated the order would be brought up on charges under Iraqi terrorism laws.

The PMOI response called on the U.N. Security Council to intervene in what it said was a "flagrant breach of international law and conventions."

The group, which is established in the eastern city of Ashraf, issued a statement Monday saying more than 3 million Iraqi Shiites, including members of several political parties, had signed a petition opposing Iranian influence in Iraqi affairs.

Several European nations list the group as a terrorist entity, though Press TV says the group is currently backed by the United States as a counter-terrorist proxy.

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