October 23, 2017

Iraqi Deputy PM criticizes al-Maliki on deadline for closure of Camp Ashraf

An Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Saleh al-Motlaq, warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki about another attack against Camp Ashraf by the Iraqi Forces and criticized him for setting a deadline for closure of Camp Ashraf, home to some 3400 Iranian dissidents in Iraq.

Mr. Motlaq who is also a leader of al-Iraqiya, the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament,   said in an interview with Iraqi TV al-Sharqiya on Sunday (6 Nov. 2011) : “If Mr. Nouri al-Maliki once again attack Camp Ashraf and once again kill its residents, not only it will be committing an shameful act against the Iraqi people but it will cause a rift between us and the rest of the world.”

“Setting a deadline and saying that if you do not leave by the deadline, we will massacre you and will shed blood and cause a war with the rest of the world is not right,” he added.

Mr. Motlaq said: “My dignity as an Iraqi does not allow me to let the Iranian regime rule over me, form my government, run my economy, and kill my people.”

Interview with al-Shargiya TV, 6 Nov. 2011 – Dr. Saleh Motlaq, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and a leader of al-Iraqiya:

Is it right that we destroy our relationships with the world community because of the Iranian regime? I believe that if the Iraqi government and in particular Mr. Nouri al-Maliki once again attack Camp Ashraf, they would be committing a shameful act against the Iraqis and will cause a big disparity between us and the rest of the world.

Today, the entire world states that they [Camp Ashraf residents] are protected persons according to the Fourth Geneva conventions. It is not right to set a deadline and declare that if they do not leave by the deadline, we will massacre them and will shed blood that would cause a rift between us and the rest of the world.

The government must take into consideration the dignity of the Iraqi people, the Iraqi history and the Arab dignity. They [the camp residents] are our guests and we should no longer treat them they we have in the past.

If resolving the issue requires six more months or one more year, we must consider extending the deadline so we can resolve the issue in a humanitarian manner. I consider the Iranian people as our neighbors, friends, Muslims, and brothers and consider Iran a neighbor country and would want our relationships to enhance. But my opposition has and continues to be against the way the Iranian regime treats and interferes in Iraq. The Iranian regime in cooperation with the US formed the current government in Iraq and plays a role in Iraq and as an Iraqi, my dignity does not allow me to let the Iranian regime rule over me, form my government, run my economy, and kill my people.  I cannot tolerate its paramilitary units equipped with silencer weapons.

Is it right that we ruin our relationships with the rest of the world because of the Iranian regime? I believe that if the Iraqi government and in particular if Mr. Nouri al-Maliki once again attack Ashraf and once again kill its residents, not only it will be committing an shameful act against the Iraqi people but it will cause a rift between us and the rest of the world. Today, the entire world says that they [Camp Ashraf residents] are protected persons according to the Fourth Geneva conventions and we have so far reached good agreements with the [UN] High Commissioner for Refugees and it is registering each camp resident as a refugee and plans to transfer them to a third country. But this process needs some time. We cannot complete this process within two months. Setting a deadline and saying that if you do not leave by the deadline, we will massacre you and will shed blood and cause a war with the rest of the world is not right. This is not one person’s decision but a decision to be made by all Iraqis. And the person who wants to make such a decision should take into consideration the credibility and dignity of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi history and the Arab ethics.

They [Camp Ashraf residents] are our guests and we should no longer treat them like we have in the past. This was not our manner as Iraqis or as Arabs. If resolving this issue needs six more months or one more year, we should consider such a time in order to resolve the issue in a humanitarian manner.