BAGHDAD - Iraq on Tuesday told an Iranian dissident group that was given a base in Iraq by Saddam Hussein but is now out of favor with a government that is close to Iran that it must move out of the camp immediately or be forced to leave.
Iraqi authorities have been locked in a protracted row with the Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK) over their plan to move 3,000 MEK members from Camp Ashraf to a large former US military base - a step toward expelling the group from Iraqi territory.
The United States also said last month that the group should close the camp, saying it was "gravely mistaken" to think there was another option.
"We have reached a dead end (with them) and the extension ends today, they have to move," Falih al-Fayadh, Iraq's National Security Advisor, told a conference attended by the U.N. mission in Iraq, aid groups and Western and Arab diplomats.
"Now we are free to implement the mechanisms required to transfer those who live in (Camp Ashraf) to where we find appropriate."