Despicable Plan of Transferring Ashraf and Liberty Residents to Hotels

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New information from inside Iran showing what is the main mandate of the SRSG Martin Kobler by pressing Ashraf residents for evacuation of camp Ashraf.

With the mediation of Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad is the outcome of the visit to Tehran by Faleh Fayyaz and Martin Kobler in response to the failure of TTL project.

Iranian Resistance exposes the documents of hiring Yamamah Hotel in Baghdad by the Iranian regime’s embassy from the beginning of 2011, which is now under the cover of the “Organization of Haj and pilgrimage of Iran”, and controlled by mullahs’ Intelligence Ministry.

-According to documents and reports from inside the mullah’s regime, at the beginning of July, Mr. Kobler ordered UNAMI in Bagdad to rent the entire Hotel Yamameh. This hotel was mentioned by the Iraqi’s security advisor as another TTL in the memorandum of understanding, signed by Mr. Kobler.

-From the beginning of 2011, by an official contract, this hotel was rented by the “Embassy of the Islamic republic of Iran in Bagdad – Trade Counsel”. The contract that bears the signature of the “Islamic republic of Iran – Ministry of trade – Trade Counsel – Bagdad” was signed for one year by one of the MOIS (Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security) agents, Mehdi Nejatnia, with emphasis that it can be renewed. (Document is attached and includes a copy of an agreement with Baghdad’s Yamameh Hotel bearing Islamic Republic’s emblem – Ministry of Trade – Trade Counsel – Iraq – Baghdad).

This hotel is still rented by “Pilgrimage organization of Iran” as a cover for the MOIS.

-According to reports from inside the Iranian regime, UNAMI has proposed a superior price for one year renting of this hotel in order to place 400 PMOI members and to encourage the Iraqis to shift the contract -with the Pilgrimage organization- to a new contract with the UNAMI.

-By announcing its utmost disgust for this shameful plan which is only in favor of the religious fascism ruling Iran, the Iranian resistance asks the UN Secretary General to warn UNAMI about its role in these sorts of plots and shameful actions and to oblige them to secure the minimum humanitarian needs in camp Liberty.

It is now for two months that the National Security Advisor for the Iraqi government, Faleh Fayyaz, and the Special Representative of UN Secretary General (SRSG), Ambassador Martin Kobler, in a road map that they had offered for the residents of Ashraf and Liberty Camps, are speaking about hotels which has been “prepared to accommodate the remaining residents”.

This despicable plan is the outcome of the visit to Tehran by Fayyaz and Kobler. This is intended to cover up the failure of the TTL plan which was an obscure and dubious plan from the outset to destroy the opposition to the Iranian regime.

1-Iranian Resistance in a statement on February 21, 2012 declared that: “it has gained access to documents from inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) which shows that the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office, has given assurances to Quds Force and the Iranian regime’s Ambassador to Baghdad that after transfer of first group from Ashraf to Liberty, members of the PMOI will be paralyzed. This shocking document which leaves no doubt that the project of transferring the residents of Ashraf to Liberty has been to pursue the objectives and intentions of the mullahs’ regime and aims at destroying the democratic and legitimate opposition of this regime.”

This document stipulates that: “We (the Iraqi Government) put our conditions to members of the organization and want them to submit eventually…. In many cases the UN justifies Iraqi conditions and demands the members of PMOI to accept them, because Liberty is Just a transit location and their stay in there will be a short one.”

Based on this document, the government of Iraq would complain that “not all of the UN mission are in total agreement with the government of Iraq, however, SRSG Mr. Kobler specifically agrees with all Iraqi government’s demands. We believe he does not want to oppose the Iraqi government and to obscure his relation with the Iraqi government for the sake of PMOI.” The PMOI has raised some demands “We show positive reaction to these demands to collaborate with the UN, but these demands will never be fulfilled. The Iraqi government and it’s negotiator have only agreed to discuss the minor and unimportant issues. The issues which do not have serious implications in the situation like field medical visits or delegations which are less important issues. The government of Iraq would react strongly to some of the demands posed by the residents…. the new camp should be based on the needs of the Iraqi government and not the needs of the members of the Organization, the Iraqi government will not relent from the main issues”.

2- Faleh Fayyaz, after his return from Iran , in an interview with the Iraq’s official television on April 24, 2012 said: “Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, has talked in details with Iraqi and Iranian parties through the Iranian Embassy or other channels communicating with Iran in order to provide the requirements for implementation of the understanding which has been agreed on between him and Iraq to close camp Ashraf and put an end to the presence of this organization on Iraqi territory. Talks included the mechanisms and Iran’s role in what has to be done to solve this matter.”

3- Two days after the relocation the of 5th convoy of the residents to Liberty, Martin Kobler left for Iran. The international committee In Search of Justice ( ISJ ), which comprises more than 4000 parliamentarians from different countries of the world, in a letter to Ban ki-moon on May 24 wrote:

“The recent trip to Tehran by the SRSG, Mr. Kobler, his praise for the role of the religious fascist ruled-Iran in the security of Iraq, and the reports received about the meeting of the Mullahs’ Ministry of Intelligence with him about PMOI have shocked us. We are informed that he intended to visit Iran for some time and the Iranian regime only gave him the visa to enter Iran after the transfer of the fifth convoy of Ashraf residents to Liberty.”

In a different letter to the UN Secretary General on June 12, ISJ reiterated:

Martin Kobler “in practice, received his visa after two thirds of the residents had been transferred”.

4- On May 31, Kobler and George Bakoos, the political advisor to Maleki, met with the representatives of Liberty residents. Maleki’s advisor, in response to the complaints of the residents said that he suggested the remaining 1,200 residents to go from Ashraf to a hotel and he would guarantee that all their requirements for water, electricity, food and medical services would be met around the clock . Kobler, while according to his own remarks was “surprised” by the offer, supported the idea and said the residents of the fifth convoy that had complaints about lack of transfer of their belongings and return of the utility vehicles and were seeking return to Ashraf, could go to hotel instead of Ashraf.

The representatives of Liberty immediately called this a plan and plot by the Iranian regime that has been raised in response to failure of TTL project. They ended the meeting and were about to walk out. But Mr. Kobler pleaded to them to stay and to continue the talks and Bakoos told Kobler that the idea for hotel should be set aside and this was solely a suggestion.

5- Subsequently, the representative of the residents outside of Iraq wrote to Kobler on June 3: “I was astonished by the apparently spontaneous proposal by you and representative of the GoI to transfer all the residents or the disabled to hotels in Baghdad raised in a meeting which was formed to review the ongoing infrastructure problems of water, electricity and sewage etc in Camp Liberty. But in your Note, you have ignored the main part of the reply given by the residents’ representative. They replied to this proposal by saying that this was not a new plan and it had been pursued by the Iranian regime since three years ago in order to annihilate the residents and had been previously considered by the regime for those who want to return to Iran.”

The representative of the residents in his letter to Kobler added:

“In view of the precedence of the issue of hotel, raising it in the meeting of 31 May brings this to the minds that this plan has been initiated by Tehran and the mullah’s regime. You are certainly aware of the situation in Hotel Mohajer which has been turned into a department of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MIOS). The GoI did accommodate those who left Ashraf in previous years thus practically handing them over to the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad and the agents of the MOIS such as Haj Ali Navidi, Naseri and Nobakhti who have been all exposed by us over the past years. This plan was meant to force people to return to Iran and cooperate with the mullahs Gestapo. Anyhow, the plan to transfer the residents to hotel illustrates very well that the TTL is a failed project and this is what we wrote to you and the UNSG a while ago. You should particularly remember that when you signed the MoU, you deleted the time period of 6 months set for the TTL from the initial draft and you did that as it was desired by the GoI.”

6- According to documents and reports from inside the mullah’s regime, at the beginning of July, Mr. Kobler ordered UNAMI in Bagdad to rent the entire Hotel Yamameh. This hotel was mentioned by the Iraqi’s security advisor as another TTL in the memorandum of understanding, signed by Mr. Kobler.

From the beginning of 2011, by an official contract, this hotel was rented by the “Embassy of the Islamic republic of Iran in Bagdad – Trade Counsel”. The contract that bears the signature of the “Islamic republic of Iran – Ministry of trade – Trade Counsel – Bagdad” was signed for one year by one of the MOIS (Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security) agents, Mehdi Nejatnia, with emphasis that it can be renewed. (Document is attached and includes a copy of an agreement with Baghdad’s Yamameh Hotel bearing Islamic Republic’s emblem – Ministry of Trade – Trade Counsel – Iraq – Baghdad).

This hotel is still rented by “Pilgrimage organization of Iran” as a cover for the MOIS.

According to reports from inside the Iranian regime, UNAMI has proposed a superior price for one year renting of this hotel in order to place 400 PMOI members and to encourage the Iraqis to shift the contract -with the Pilgrimage organization- to a new contract with the UNAMI.

By announcing its utmost disgust for this shameful plan which is only in favor of the religious fascism ruling Iran, the Iranian resistance asks the UN Secretary General to warn UNAMI about its role in these sorts of plots and shameful actions and to oblige them to secure the minimum humanitarian needs in camp Liberty.

These obligations and unfulfilled minimum requirements that are essential before any further move of convoys from Ashraf to Liberty, as indicated in the NCRI’s statement dated July 15, include:

1. Connecting Liberty to the city water network or to transfer from Ashraf the equipment necessary for pumping water from a river 150 meters from Liberty;

2. Transferring all the existing power generators in Ashraf, particularly the six main ones;

3. Transfer of six utility vehicles (water, sewage and fuel) to Camp Liberty which belonged to the fifth convoy;

4. Transfer of special vehicles for the disabled;

5. Transfer of five forklifts for carrying heavy loads that are now being carried on hand and shoulders of the residents;

6. Transfer of fifty passenger vehicles or alternatively suitable number of busses for 2000 people. (Previously thirty vehicles have been transferred for 1200 people);

7. Permission for constructions in Liberty including building pavements, porches, canopies, ramps, special facilities for the disabled and green area;

8. To solve the issue of selling the moveable and immovable property, allowing merchants or bidders to have access to Ashraf.

-It should be reminded that the Government of Iraq refrains from returning two containers that contain the personal belongings of convoys 4 and 5, worth $120,000 that it had confiscated since three months ago. All these goods are legal and civilian and scores of them would be destroyed at 50 degrees Celsius heat that they are kept at.

On July 23, thousands of parliamentarians from Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe and parliaments from 46 countries in 5 continents issued a statement and warned against making Camp Liberty in to a prison by emphasizing that:

“We have explicitly urged the US Government, the European Union and the United Nations to take initiative in order to fulfill these minimum demands and to refrain from resolving the problems at the expense of the residents as has been the case in the past. Any solution based on such an approach would be untenable and would only encourage the Iranian regime and the Iraqi Government to resort to violence and step up the violation of the residents’ rights.”

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

July 24, 2012

Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition (PMOI /MEK). He is a human rights activist and political analyst on Iran and the Middle East.