Stop Fundamentalism – The Iranian Resistance in a press release Thursday night denounced Nouri al-Maliki’s call for the arrest of 126 residents of Camp Ashraf on charges of terrorism. The Iranian exile group says Maliki is acting on the behest of the Iranian regime to crackdown on its main opposition movement which has been based in Camp Ashraf in Iraq for the past 25 years.
The measure seems to be yet another attempt by the government of Iraq to press the group to leave Iraq. That is in spite of the fact that all members of group, known as Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK, have filed to request for asylum from the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR.
“The Monafeqin,” referring to the MeK as Iranian regime does, meaning hypocrites. “Are a completely terrorist grouplet and the first group of them will be transferred in a few days from Camp Ashraf to a base formerly run by the Americans so that the preliminary work for their exit from this country can be performed,” said Maliki to Iranian television station Channel One.
Maliki stressed in this interview that the residents of Ashraf should all leave Iraq in less than four months. He said, “In less than four months from now, no Monafeq will remain in Iraq. After that Camp Ashraf will be closed and the land will be returned to its owners.” Maliki stressed talking to the Iranian TV reporter.
Camp Ashraf was the scene of an assault by Iraqi forces on the unarmed residents of the camp back in April last year in which 36 residents died. Since then the United Nations has stepped in to make sure the tragedy will not repeat. The residents have requested for asylum from UN’s refugee agency UNHCR and they are considered asylum seekers by the UN body.
Nouri al-Maliki, following signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Secretary’s Special Envoy, Martin Kobler, extended a year-end deadline he had set for the residents to leave Camp Ashraf and for the camp to be closed. According to the MoU, the residents will be transferred to a former American Camp known as Liberty to go through UNHCR’s refugee determination process.
But Camp Liberty has reportedly been completely looted since American’s turned it over to Iraqi forces and now it is not ready to accept any of the residents.
Iranian Resistance says that Nouri al-Maliki’s remarks to Iranian media are a clear breach of signed MoU with Ambassador Kobler and called for immediate action by the United Nations Security Council and the Secretary General to “Salvage the peaceful solution.”