Iraqi politicians, Iranian opposition group demand Tehran not interfere in Iraq

The National Council of Resistance of Iran repeated claims that more than 30,000 Iranian agents working in Iraq.

Iraq Shiites 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Iraq Shiites 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Several prominent Sunni politicians from Iraq joined forces with an exiled Iranian opposition group Wednesday to demand an end to what they said was interference in Iraq by the Iranian government. The National Council of Resistance of Iran repeated claims that it had obtained the names of more than 30,000 Iranian agents working in Iraq, including members of parliament and ranking members of the Iraqi security forces. It also claimed to have uncovered details of facilities in Iran used to make bombs for Iraqi insurgents. The Paris-based council is the political wing of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, deemed a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. It held a joint news conference with a group of visiting mostly Sunni Arab Iraqi politicians who were in Brussels for talks with members of the European Parliament and Belgium Senate. "The intervention of Iran in the affairs of Iraq is not long a secret to anyone," said Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of Iraqi parliament's largest Sunni Arab bloc. "Everybody knows Iran is meddling." He appealed for help from the EU. "The European Union and the European Parliament should put pressure on Iran to stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq," al-Dulaimi said. Another Sunni legislator, Khalaf al-Alayan, leader of the Sunni National Dialogue Council, called on the United States "to get rid of the Iranian occupation of Iran." However, he accused the United States and the Shiite-led Iraqi government of supporting attacks on Sunnis to prepare for the federal division of the country. He thanked the Iranian People's Mujahedeen for their help. "We consider them our brothers," he said. "This is the best proof that we don't have any hatred for the Iranian people." Members of the People's Mujahedeen fled to Iraq in the early 1980s after it fell out with the clerical regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. During Saddam Hussein's rule, the movement used Iraq as a base for operations against Iran's government.