TEHRAN, June 17 (Mehr News Agency) - French anti-terrorist police on Tuesday launched a major crackdown on the Iranian armed terrorist group, the People's Mujahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO), detaining 165 people, including one of the organization's ringleaders Maryam Rajavi.

The MKO is a terrorist organizations with its headquarters in Iraq. It collaborated with the Ba’th party in suppressing the Kurdish and Shia uprisings in the post-1991 Persian Gulf war.

 

Maryam Rajavi's husband Massoud – who is said to have gone underground with Saddam Hussein’s sons – was based in Iraq before the U.S. attack on Baghdad.

 

The MKO was put on a "terrorist" blacklist by both the United States and the European Union last year. Although the organization is on the terrorist list of the U.S. State Department, it runs its offices just close to the White House.

 

According to an agreement reached between the MKO and United States in the post-Saddam era in Iraq, the U.S. administration for Iraq allowed the MKO terrorists to remain armed and keep their barracks, contrary to the earlier claims of Washington that it would arrest the terrorist members of the MKO. Iran says the U.S. has kept the terrorist organization in Iraq to destabilize its security.

 

 More than 1,200 officers took part in the operation in France on Tuesday, which the interior ministry described as one of the biggest undertaken by the domestic intelligence services in the last 30 years, according to the AFP.

 

The police raided thirteen locations in the northwestern outskirts of Paris, including the headquarters in the town of Auvers-sur-Oise of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) -- the political umbrella group dominated by the MKO.

 

Since the building had become the MKO 's international base The police operation was aimed at dismantling the organization in France, AFP quoted the interior ministry as saying.

 

Born in Teheran in 1953, Maryam Rajavi was joint leader of the terrorist MKO in the late 1980s but resigned after being announced as the "President-select" for a future Iranian government by the NCRI in 1993.

 

The MKO planted a number of bombs in Iranian public and residential areas as well as religious places killing and injuring thousands of people. It killed more than 70 Iranian top officials in a bomb blast in 1981 including Chief Justice Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti, president Mohammad Ali Rajai, prime minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar and a number of MPs.

 

It later embarked on blind terror killing a number civilians in order to spread terror in the society.

 

The MKO scanty forces fought the Iranian army shoulder-to-should with the Iraqi soldiers fought the Iranian army during the Iran-Iraq war. The Iranians consider the MKO members of leadership as traitors for siding with their enemy during the war.

 

 Tuesday's raids around Paris were ordered by France's leading anti-terrorist judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, as part of an investigation launched several years ago into "criminal association with a view to preparing acts of terrorism and financing a terrorist

organization, the AFP said.

 

At the start of the U.S. military operation in Iraq, the MKO sent many of its members to Europe on the heels of U.S. military attack on Iraq. It is said that Massoud Rajavi has gone underground along with Saddam Hussien’s sons.

 

MS/SM

END

MNA

 

News Code 146

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