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Iraqi council targets Iran group

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BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council has voted to expel the People's Mujahedeen -- an Iranian opposition group -- as well as confiscate its money and weapons.

"The decision was made after looking into the dark history of this terrorist organization and crimes that they committed against the Iraqi people and neighbors of Iraq," a statement from the council said.

"All of the members of this organization should leave Iraq by the end of this year ... closing their offices and banning the organization from performing any activities."

Tuesday's vote to ban the group was unanimous and allows for "the confiscation of all of the funds and the weapons of the organization and donating them to the compensation fund for victims of the Saddam Hussein's regime."

The People's Mujahedeen is one of the groups that make up the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which opposes the Tehran government. The People's Mujahedeen wants to replace Iran's religious government with a democratically elected leadership.

The organization helped Iraq suppress Shiite and Kurdish uprisings in northern and southern Iraq in 1991 after the Persian Gulf War, according to the State Department's Web site.

It also, the Web site says, provided internal security for the government of Iraq while carrying out bomb attacks on Iranian leaders inside Iran and on embassies outside Iraq.

The U.S. government views the People's Mujahedeen, which it calls the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization [MEK], as a terrorist group.

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