December 18, 2017

Ashraf, the litmus test for our democratic values

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL LONDON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The vexing problem of Iran is the most difficult, complex and arguably over the next several years, the most consequential regional security issue the world faces today. In search of a durable solution for the Iranian crisis and Tehran's quest to acquire nuclear weapons, the mullahs' enemy within should and could play an integral part. I was glad to see this issue raised in a cross-Atlantic conference Feb. 11 in Paris. Dozens of dignitaries from the United States and across Europe, told thousands of Iranian expatriates that the West's approach toward the residents of Camp Ashraf would be a good barometer of its approach toward the … [Read more...]

Bipartisan Group of U.S. Leaders Calls on State Department to Remove Iranian Dissidents From Terror List, Urges UN to Protect Them

PRNewswire NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A bipartisan group of former U.S. political and military leaders is calling for the U.S. State Department to remove a prominent Iranian dissident group, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran/Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (PMOI/MeK), from its list of terrorist organizations, saying the classification is unjustified and 3,400 Iranian dissidents housed at Camp Ashraf in Iraq cannot be safely resettled until the change is made. "What troubles me is the politicization of the national terrorist list," former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, said at a conference attended by more than 1,000 Iranian-Americans and community leaders Saturday in New … [Read more...]

Bi-Partisan Members of Congress, Prominent Former Officials Call for Peaceful Resettlement of Camp Ashraf Residents, Removal of the Dissidents from Terrorist List

PRNEWSWIRE WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of Congress, prominent scholars and former U.S. officials called for a speedy and peaceful end to the standoff over the fate of 3,400 pro-democracy Iranian dissidents at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, amid warnings that a failure to quickly and safely relocate them would endanger their lives. "There is a looming genocide that could occur if a number of different things don't go right in the next weeks and months," warned former FBI Director Louis Freeh. "Our goal here is to make sure that genocide does not occur." "This issue is simple, and at this critical time, the U.S. position must be clear and steadfast," added Rep. Ileana … [Read more...]

EU, US must accept Camp Ashraf inmates: Iranian dissident

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE BRUSSELS — The EU and United States must take in ailing and wounded inmates from a camp in Iraq housing thousands of Iranian dissidents, the leader of an Iranian opposition group said Tuesday. "I urge the European Union and the United States to immediately accept a certain number of sick and wounded residents" from Camp Ashraf," Maryam Rajavi, who heads the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said on the sidelines of a meeting at the European parliament in Brussels. "Any delay in this regard is unacceptable and unjustifiable," she told AFP. There are some 3,400 Iranians living in Ashraf, home for the past 30 years to Iranian dissidents, who are now facing … [Read more...]

‘Voluntary’ Imprisonment at Camp Liberty?

THE HUFFINGTON POST Once again the plight of Camp Ashraf attracts international attention. The issue: a statement published by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), headed by Ambassador Martin Kobler, calling on residents to move to Camp Liberty. According to the statement, Camp Liberty - an abandoned US base near Baghdad airport - is now in compliance with "international humanitarian standards" for housing "5.500 people". Human rights experts however point to serious shortcomings. Following last year's brutal massacre of dozens of defenceless refugees at Ashraf by the Iraqi army, which brought swift international condemnations, Iraq quickly announced a deadline to shut … [Read more...]

USCCAR Deplores Reckless Decisions by UNAMI’s Chief on Camp Ashraf

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR), representing thousands of Iran-Americans whose loved-ones reside in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, condemns the reckless and potentially harmful assertions made in the January 31 statement issued by Ambassador Martin Kobler, head of United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq. USCCAR warns that Mr. Kobler should not become a part and parcel of a despicable joint Iranian-Iraqi "working plan" aimed at dismantling Iran's principal organized opposition, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) whose 3,400 members and their families currently … [Read more...]

Iranian Dissidents Must Not Be Sent To A Concentration Camp

THE OFFICIAL WIRE The Iranian Dissidents living in Camp Ashraf in Iraq are to be relocated to a new camp near the Baghdad airport. The matter has been a shock and badly troubling for the 3300 persons living in the camp, for the simple reason that they are being forced to leave the place they have lived in for more than 20 years. Furthermore, the information received about the new camp, where the Iranian civilians are to be relocated to, seems to be changing and becoming more disturbing everyday. The residents were first told that the new location, Camp Liberty, which used to be a base for American soldiers, had the advantage of being large enough to locate the 3400 dissidents. This was … [Read more...]

Regime Change in Iran: The Conditions Are Now Ripe

THE HUFFINGTON POST Life as a mullah in Iran must be pretty disconcerting. All those in power in Tehran today are no doubt deeply worried about their economic wellbeing and the future of their rule. Sanctions have come in waves and are sapping away at the foundations of the national economy. The US and the European Union are intent on disabling the Iranian central bank, the oil industry, and even the regime's ability to trade gold and diamonds. If economic problems were not enough, the mullahs' main regional ally, Syria, is descending into civil war. From Tehran, it must seem like only a matter of time before Damascus falls - much like Tripoli did - leaving the mullahs with no nearby ally … [Read more...]

UN envoy consigns Iranian exiles to ‘prison’ in a shameful deal with Tehran

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH The week before Christmas, I reported on what appeared to be a fast-looming tragedy. In Iraq, 3,300 unarmed Iranian exiles, who had lived since the 1980s at Camp Ashraf, a neat town they built in the desert near the Iranian border, were being threatened with massacre on December 31. The threat was issued by Iraq’s prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, acting in conjunction with Iran’s murderous Revolutionary Guards, who regard the People’s Mujahideen of Iran (the PMOI), part of the National Council for Resistance in Iran, as their most hated enemies. As the deadline neared, following intense diplomatic activity, not least by the US government (which gave a written guarantee of … [Read more...]

UN hands Iran ‘propaganda fodder’ over Camp Ashraf

Remarks attributed to the UN's top diplomat in Iraq have handed Tehran a propaganda coup by suggesting Camp Ashraf dissidents want to return to Iran, writes a member of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom In 1942, in the middle of World War Two, a well-intentioned senior European diplomat went to meet a top Gestapo general to discuss the fate of thousands of Jews who had fled Nazi occupation to seek refuge in a neighbouring country. After the meeting, the general announced that the diplomat had told him that a large number of the Jews had become weary of being away from their motherland and were looking forward to going back to the "warmth" of their country – even under … [Read more...]