January 23, 2018

Iraq Wants Ashraf Residents Relocated by End of Year

THE EPOCH TIMES UN envoy appointed to mediate dispute over Camp Ashraf Iraq has declared that it will close Camp Ashraf by Dec. 31 and relocate—using force if necessary—the approximately 3,400 Iranian refugees who live there. Camp residents say they are willing to relocate to other countries but don’t want to be relocated within Iraq, claiming that the Iraqi government has become increasingly hostile. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) has received refugee applications from the exiles, but processing the claims and moving so many people will take time. An extension to the deadline has been requested. The camp’s residents fear they will be persecuted if they remain … [Read more...]

IAEA report on Iran poses challenges for United States

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency released Tuesday provided the strongest evidence yet that Iran is close to developing nuclear weapons, including clandestine procurement of equipment and design information needed to make nuclear arms, high explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge, computer modeling of a core of a nuclear warhead, and preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test -- powerful evidence that refutes the regime's specious claims that its nuclear program is peaceful. Speaking on ABC's "This Week," former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States should … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Rehearsal for a Bloodbath

THE HUFFINGTON POST It was at 11 pm on Halloween, 31 October, that Iraqi security forces made their latest menacing incursion into Camp Ashraf. Thirty military vehicles accompanied by 10 police cars entered the camp northeast of Baghdad where 3,400 Iranian dissidents live, intimidating residents with glaring lights and deafening noise and conducting exercises around their homes. Simultaneously, the 300 loudspeakers placed around Ashraf to pile on the psychological pressure stepped up their barrage of threats and insults. This bullying show of force followed a press conference in Baghdad earlier in the day at which Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign minister, promised his visiting Iranian … [Read more...]

A US Pledge of Protection: What Is It Worth?

THE HUFFINGTON POST The UN sanctioned US/NATO Libya operation to topple Gaddafi was based on a singular premise: where there is a looming humanitarian catastrophe and the international community has the means to stop it, it should intervene to do so. Whether the US/NATO involvement exceeded that mandate is another story. But what is indisputable is the legitimization of humanitarian intervention in such circumstances. Today, President Barack Obama has available the same rationale that justified intervention in Libya to justify a non-military response to avert a humanitarian disaster in Iraq where 3,400 Iranian dissidents -- members of the principal Iranian opposition movement, the … [Read more...]

Isolation not Invasion

THE HUFFINGTON POST A pre-emptive attack by Israel or coalition forces against Iran's nuclear facilities would prove disastrous to the interests of the West. Although just rumour and rhetoric at present, if such thoughts were to become a reality they would represent a major set back for the democratic ambitions of an Iranian population determined to bring about change without international intervention. Equally importantly they could impact massively on those democrats in the Arab Spring countries working to establish democratic regimes through the ballot box. Let us put such thoughts into context. For too long the West has tiptoed around Tehran's nuclear ambitions, closing its eyes to … [Read more...]

Iraq’s License to Kill

THE HUFFINGTON POST Have you ever heard of someone be given an official deadline to be killed? Imagine you are sitting in your home and you are told by the government: in less than two months we will attack and kill you. And you have nowhere to go. Well, that's exactly what seems to be happening with the 3400 inhabitants of Camp Ashraf, an Iranian opposition camp set up 25 years ago in Iraq, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. The residents, who are completely unarmed and defenseless refugees, including over a thousand of women and children, have been told that on 31 December 2011 - when American troops will completely withdraw from Iraq, the camp has to be evacuated. But they have not … [Read more...]

U.N. envoy offers to mediate dispute over Camp Ashraf

THE WASHINGTON TIMES Displaced Iranians face Dec. 31 to close their camp  A U.N. envoy on Thursday offered to broker the peaceful closing of a camp for Iranian exiles in Iraq where residents and U.S. lawmakers say an Iraqi military crackdown may be imminent. An aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who calls the residents of Camp Ashraf “terrorists,” said Iraq's Cabinet will consider extending its deadline for closing the compound beyond Dec. 31. U.N. envoy Martin Kobler offered to mediate between camp residents and Mr. Maliki's government at a news conference in Baghdad. “There [are] a number of problems that still have to be solved. This needs time, this needs space,” he … [Read more...]

What’s Next for Iran?

On Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved harsher penalties against Iran, citing the regime's plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador on American soil. This latest Iranian provocation signals an alarming escalation by a terrorist regime that has been complicit in killing U.S. soldiers through its proxies, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Shia radicals in Iraq. What evil can we expect next from the Mullahs’ brutal regime? In a word, the wholesale slaughter of 3,400 unarmed Iranian dissidents whom the U.S. government has sworn to protect…a looming humanitarian catastrophe we are honor-bound to prevent. There's no doubt that … [Read more...]

UN to broker deal between Iraq, Iranian exiles

ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD (AP) — In a last-ditch attempt to head off a confrontation, the top U.N. envoy to Iraq on Thursday offered to broker the peaceful closing of a camp of Iranian exiles before the government in Baghdad forces its residents out at the end of the year. An aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Iraq's Cabinet would consider easing its deadline if a solution can be agreed on quickly. At issue is a group of about 3,300 exiles at the remote Camp Ashraf in Iraq's eastern Diyala province who seek the overthrow of Tehran's clerical rulers. Members of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, they won refuge at Ashraf decades ago during the regime of Saddam Hussein, … [Read more...]