February 21, 2018

EU: Iraq must ensure Iran exile group’s safety


BRUSSELSThe European Union called on Iraqi authorities on Friday to guarantee the security of an Iranian opposition group transferring to a new camp near Baghdad.

The National Council of Resistance (NCRI) has agreed to begin evacuating Camp Ashraf, its long-time base in central Iraq, and transfer the refugees to Camp Liberty, a former US military base.

“We urge this movement to start as scheduled on 17 February and call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its responsibilities regarding the safety and security of the residents of the Camp,” Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said in a statement.

“We also call on the residents to fully cooperate with the Iraqi authorities and the UN,” she said.

Camp Ashraf houses some 3,400 Iranians opposed to the regime in Tehran.

The NCRI, which includes the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, demanded Iraqi police be removed from the Liberty site before any more of the group leave Ashraf, which Baghdad has vowed to close.

Under a pact signed on December 25 between the United Nations and the Iraqi government, the residents of camp Ashraf will be transferred to the former US military site near Baghdad’s international airport.