UN Envoy to Mediate a Peaceful Solution for Camp Ashraf

Stop Fundamentalism – The United Nation top envoy to Iraq, Martin Kobler, said in a press conference in Baghdad today that he is ready to broker a peaceful closing of Camp Ashraf where 3400 Iranian exiles, members of the main Iranian opposition movement, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), live.  This is to prevent another attack by the Iraqi military on the camp, reported AP today.

Kobler was speaking at a joint press conference along with Gorguis Yacoub, a top aide to Nouri al-Maliki.  Yacoub said that Iraq may consider an extension to the deadline if a solution is reached.

An attack on Camp Ashraf last April left 36 residents dead and over 350 wounded.  The residents have been unarmed since the Iraq war in 2003. 

Iraq has been insisting that it will close the camp at the end of the year when American forces will also be leaving the country.

Last night, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved an amendment to a bill that called to protect the residents of the Iranian dissident camp.

Last week, 180 members of the European Parliament singed a statement calling for the year-end deadline for the closure of the camp to be postponed or the international community will face a human catastrophe.

On Monday nights a column of 30 Iraqi military vehicles and 10 police cars stormed the roads inside the camp in an apparent attempt to aggravate and threaten the residents.

The UNHCR is currently processing individual applications filed by the residents asking for political asylum but the UN agency says it will take it a lot more than just two months to process them.