Iran Pressing Iraq to Handover Dissidents

Stop Fundamentalism – Sources in Baghdad told Kuwaiti Al-Siyasa, that the Iranian regime has asked Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, during his two day visit to Tehran last Sunday to extradite about 166 members of the exiled Iranian opposition, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK who are currently being relocated from a Camp northeast of Baghdad known as Camp Ashraf to the former US occupied Camp Liberty near Baghdad airport.

Many women were among those named by the Iranian regime to be handed over by Iraqi government, the sources told Al-Siyasa reporter. 

Al-Siyasa also reported that the Iranian regime is trying to use the quarrel between Prime Minister al-Maliki and his political rivals in Iraq to force him to, in order to receive Iran’s backing to stay in power as the Prime Minister, hand over the Iranian dissident group members who have lived in Iraq for the past 25 years, escaping atrocities of the Iranian regime.  The Iranian regime considers the MEK to be ‘Mohareb’ which is a religious crime referring to those who “wage war on god,” a crime that is punishable by death in Iran.

MEK came under attack in Camp Ashraf by Iraqi forces in April last year when at least 26 members including 8 women were killed as a result of gunshot wounds inflected by Iraqi military’s direct shootings at the unarmed residents.  The residents have been unarmed since 2003 occupation of Iraq by the coalition forces.

Al-Siyasa also warned that some Shiite paramilitary groups in coordination with Iranian Qods forces in Iraq are planning to kidnap some of the members of the group in Camp Ashraf and take them back to Iran.

Iraqi Parliamentarian Ali Bashir, a member of Iraq’s Supreme Council, told Al-Siyasa that the Iranian theocratic rulers are attempting to return some members of the group who live in Camp Ashraf to Iran in order to be prosecuted.  He added that the Iranian mullahs see the subject matter as a strategic-security issue and not like Iraq as an issue of the mutual agreement they have with the United Nations and international community.

“Iran is exceedingly concerned about the presence of the MEK members in Camp Ashraf in Diyala Province near Iran,” said Al-Bashir who is a member of the Iraqi Badr group headed by Hadi Al-Ameri.  “There are particularly information that some countries have asked Iraq to extend MEK’s stay in that country as their transfer to third countries is not possible yet,”  he added stressing that “Handover of these Iranian opposition members to Iran will be a great mistake that the government of Iraq would be making.”

Al-Siyasa stated that some Shiite sources say that Iranian rulers are not happy about the transfer of the Camp Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty.  That is because they want these people to be returned back to Iran where they can be prosecuted.  The sources also say that Iran is worried about the expansion of relations between western countries and the leadership of the group in case of a Persian Spring in Iran.

A part of this report was translated from Arabic; source Al-Siyasa, Kuwait.