Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: MEK Deaths in Iraq ‘Divine Vengeance’

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A team from the United Nations announced today that it will head to an Iraqi camp of Iranian exiles to investigate the deaths of dozens of its residents. The People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) said on Sunday that Iraqi forces had killed 52 of their members in a raid at Camp Ashraf, the group’s longtime base in Diyala, Iraq. The Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK), which is how they are known in Iran, was a leftist-Islamist group which left Iran after the 1979 revolution over a power struggle with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. During the Iran-Iraq war, the MEK took refuge in Iraq. Immediately after the announcement of a cease-fire between Iran and Iraq, the group, with initial air support from Iraq, invaded Iran, but eventually retreated after thousands of its members were killed. Many of the group’s members are believed to have been executed in Iran in 1988. The Iranian government blames the MEK for acts of terrorism in the 1980s against government officials and for the assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists over the last several years. According to the Associated Press, a spokesman for the Iraqi government confirmed that residents were killed but attributed the deaths to infighting between camp residents. According to Agence France-Presse, however, Iraqi officials believe that either a mortar attack caused an explosion or that perhaps there was a gas explosion. He also denied reports that Iraqi forces entered the camp. In a written statement, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) called the deaths “divine vengeance.” The statement read: “Finally, it’s with a divine fate that the children of the martyred Iraqi fighters, with a revolutionary act, in a historical revenge on the hypocrites’ spider’s nest, for a joint crime by [late Iraqi president] Saddam [Hussein] and the hypocrites for the Shaban intifada [a 1991 Iraqi uprising against Saddam] in which thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children were martyred, and proved an immortal lesson and a lasting courage. “This step led to the death of near seventy bodies of the cadres of the corrupt hypocrites, among them seven of the leadership council and intelligence and operations officials of the hypocrite organization with a history of more than thirty years of crimes. Certainly this is a great relief to the Muslim ummah and the families of the great martyrs, especially the families of the great martyrs who have been assassinated. “Without a doubt, the two Muslim nations of Iran and Iraq will never forget the bitter memory of the betrayals and crimes of the filthy hypocrites and the inevitable fate of the hypocrites will be nothing but hardship, displacement, helplessness and complete destruction. “Sepah [IRGC] knows this divine vengeance to be a promise from the almighty God who granted this on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the righteous, martyrs Rajaei and Bahonar.” The “martyrs” here represent Iran’s second president Mohammad Ali Rajaei and prime minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, who were both killed in a bombing on Aug. 30, 1981. The term “hypocrite” is what Iranian officials and media use for the MEK. Websites close to the MEK have released unconfirmed videos of what they claim to be Iraqi soldiers entering their camp and ofhandcuffed bodies that appear to have been shot at close range.