Iran, Iraq sign extradition accord

Last Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 15:35

Tehran: Iran and Iraq have signed an extradition agreement that Iranian media speculated could lead to members of an Iranian militant group that used to enjoy refuge in Iraq being sent home for trial.

The accord, signed by justice ministers of both countries in Tehran late on Sunday according to official news agencies, follows a raid by Iraqi forces on April 8 on Camp Ashraf, home of the People`s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, which wants to overthrow the Iranian government.

According to the U.N. human rights chief, 34 people were killed in the raid on the camp [ID:nN1557497] which was set up under former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein but which the new government has said must close.

Iraq, Iran and the United States consider the PMOI, also known as the Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO), terrorists though the European Union removed the group from its terrorism blacklist in 2009.

The group, seeking the overthrow of Iran`s Islamic government, mounted attacks on Iran from Iraq before Saddam`s 2003 downfall. In the 1970s, it led a guerrilla campaign against the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran, including attacks on U.S. targets.

Saddam gave it refuge in Iraq in the 1980s and some of its fighters joined him in the 1980-1988 war against Iran. The group surrendered its weapons to U.S. forces after the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam.

The camp`s fate has been in question since the U.S. military turned it over to Baghdad in 2009 under a bilateral security agreement. Baghdad has said Ashraf residents would be given until year-end to leave the country.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 15:35

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