Threatening Iranian Dissidents, MEK in Iraq

Jean-François Bège
French Parlement Publication – LE COURRIER DU PARLEMENT –  December 2011 (Partial Translation)

Living in Camp Ashraf north of Baghdad, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK, fear an Iraqi military assault. 

The situation of Iranian exiles in Iraq, especially in Camp Ashraf, 80 Kilometers north of Baghdad is still unknown in Europe and France. The 3400 Iranian opposition members of Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK are constantly threatened by the Iraqi Army.  An attack on the camp back in April 2011 cost the lives of 36 residents and tens of injuries. 

In a conference organized by President-elect Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran which the MEK is the main group inside it, United Nations institutions were called upon to prevent a new tragedy, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.  Mr. Rajavi called for a protective force and reaffirmation of resident’s refugee status to provide them with international protections. 

Howard Dean, former American Democratic Party Leader, said that the residents are in a grave danger.  International concern against a forcible relocation of the residents in Iraq builds up. 

Are the people of Ashraf victims of history?  In reality they are.  They were the target of a Fetwa (a religious decree) by Ayatollah Khomeini. Persecuted by Shah’s secret police SAVAK that tagged them “Marxist-Islamic Organization” to be able to suppress them.  They were crackdown on in courts during 1979 by orders of the Ayatollah. Thousands of them were executed in their country and many of their leaders were assassinated abroad by Tehran-sent commandos.

They moved to Iraq to support their effort to take back their country using military power and to undermine the ayatollahs’ regime.  When Saddam Hussein regime fell following American intervention, their situation became more critical as the new Shiite rulers in Baghdad favored a close relationship with Tehran.  The Americans took their weapons and accepted them as “protected persons” under Geneva Conventions; a powerful but unstable status, because the coalition forces planned to pullout of Iraq and especially because the new Iraqi government disregarded the status so it can destroy them easier.

There is a bitter feeling about French involvement in the story for many.  The foreign ministry in France and many large companies, especially when their interests are involved, don’t want the old wounds to surface again.  In 2003 Mrs. Rajavi and 163 opponents of the Iranian regime were arrested near Paris.  Since them she has been cleared of charges and terrorist allegations have been declared without basis. This all shows a political conspiracy had taken place.

In a horrifying game, misinformation and allegations, Iranian Intelligence Service entered a vicious war from 30 years ago against the MEK.  That war still continues.

“What they say about the MEK is old and there is a threat that thousands of them will be massacred in Camp Ashraf,” says François Colcombet, a former French MP and a Judge.