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Iraq Hails Arrival From Paris of Iran’s Opposition Leader

From Reuters

The Iraqi government Sunday hailed the arrival of Iran’s main opposition leader who--apparently under pressure from the French government--gave up self-exile in Paris and flew to this country, which is at war with Iran.

Massoud Rajavi, 37, head of the Paris-based leftist Moujahedeen, received a red-carpet welcome when he landed in Baghdad in a private plane Saturday night. On Sunday, all the capital’s papers carried pictures of Rajavi being greeted by First Deputy Prime Minister Taha Yassin Ramadan.

Rajavi was expected to see Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the next day or two.

The Iranian opposition leader left France after police raided his house Saturday. French officials insisted that he was not expelled, but they said he apparently decided to leave because the group could no longer carry on its political activities in France.

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With Iraq celebrating the Muslim holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, no officials were available to say how long Rajavi plans to stay or whether he will transfer the Moujahedeen headquarters to Baghdad.

Political analysts said Baghdad has been supporting the Moujahedeen and is likely to give it a free hand to operate from Iraq.


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