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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran Rebels Turn Away Air Strikes

PARIS -- Iran's opposition group Mujahedeen Khalq said they had foiled an Iranian air strike on one of their bases in Iraq on Wednesday.


The group urged the world to condemn the attempted raid as well as a Scud missile attack Sunday on a base in Iraq 80 kilometers from the Iranian border. They said the three missiles gouged deep craters but caused no casualties.


They said Iranian aircraft were forced back by anti-aircraft batteries belonging to their National Liberation Army on Wednesday.


The group lashed out at the UN Security Council, saying it had encouraged Iran's Islamic rulers by failing to condemn Sunday's attack.


"The silence has ... given the regime free rein for any aggression and war operations," said a statement issued in Paris, singling out the United States, France and Britain for its strongest criticism.


Iran said earlier Wednesday that its fighter planes had raided guerrilla bases in Iraq, without saying which ones. An Iranian Kurdish rebel party said one of its camps in Iraqi Kurdistan was hit and that a woman was killed.


Iran said all the aircraft returned safely.


Saleh Rajavi, a representative of Mujahedeen Khalq in France, said the Scud attack disproved a U.S. State Department report late last month concluding that the Mujahedeen had little support in Iran and were not a viable alternative to the government.


The Mujahedeen lost out to Moslem fundamentalists in Tehran street battles after the fall of the Shah of Iran. They formed a small army under Baghdad's protection and fought on Iraq's side in the 1980 to 1988 Iran-Iraq war.


Rajavi said the report, along with Western tolerance of Iran, sent a false signal to Tehran and "was considered a green light by the Iranian regime" for the Scud attack.


He told a news conference that Iran would not use the Scuds, its most powerful weapons, unless it considered the Mujahedeen a major threat.


U.S. officials say the Mujahedeen are an undemocratic guerrilla group with a string of human rights abuses to their name, and that they are backed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and have little support in Iran.