Opinion

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The group has targeted Iranian government officials and government facilities in Iran and abroad, and during the 1970s, it attacked Americans in Iran. While the group says it does not intentionally target civilians, it has often risked civilian casualties. It routinely aims its attacks at government buildings in crowded cities. MEK terrorism has declined since late 2001. Incidents linked to the group include:

• the series of mortar attacks and hit-and-run raids during 2000 and 2001 against Iranian government buildings; one of these killed Iran's chief of staff;

• the 2000 mortar attack on President Mohammed Khatami's palace in Tehran;

• the February 2000 "Operation Great Bahman," during which MEK launched twelve attacks against Iran;

• the 1999 assassination of the deputy chief of Iran's armed forces general staff, Ali Sayyad Shirazi;

• the 1998 assassination of the director of Iran's prison system, Asadollah Lajevardi;

• the 1992 near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and institutions in thirteen countries;

• Saddam Hussein's suppression of the 1991 Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish uprisings;
• the 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party and of Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar, which killed some seventy high-ranking Iranian officials, including President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei and Bahonar;

• the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by Iranian revolutionaries;

• the killings of U.S.military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran in the 1970s.

It's unclear how many attacks MEK has carried out; according to experts, the group's claims of responsibility for attacks in Iran are often exaggerated, and sometimes MEK is blamed by the Iranian government for attacks it didn't stage.

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