Iran (MKO)


Conflict Summary

The Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) – also known as the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) and the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) – is the most effective opposition group in Iran. Its armed wing, the National Liberation Army (NLA) of Iran, has consistently attacked government targets and overseas embassies for more than 30 years. A Marxist-Islamic group, the MKO is anti-Western and seeks to overthrow the current clerical government, wishing to replace it with a secular administration. With military support from Iraq, it typically mounts small-scale cross-border attacks on Iranian forces and infrastructure. However, the MKO's close relationship with Baghdad has also resulted in its agenda being discredited in the eyes of many potential supporters in Iran. There is increasing evidence of popular dissent in Iran and the MKO has attempted to capitalise on it by launching bolder assaults on government building and in urban areas. MKO activity significantly decreased from the outset of the US-led invasion of Iraq. In March US forces targeted MKO camps in Iraq claiming the group was fully integrated with Saddam Hussein's command-and-control system – a ceasefire was negotiated in early April. In December 2003 the Iraqi Governing Council expelled MKO members from Iraq. Presently MKO operations against the Iranian government have ceased and the conflict is dormant.