Iranian Resistance Warns Against Theft and Plunder of Ashraf Residents’ Property

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Call on the United Nations, United States and the European Union

Prevent the theft and looting of over 500 million dollars of

Ashraf residents’ belongings and properties

While half of Ashraf residents have been transferred to Camp Liberty and others are under pressure to move, their movable and immovable properties still remain to be unsettled and there are increasing signs that clerical regime’s proxies in Iraq intend to steal, loot and seize them.

Mrs. Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian resistance, announced on December 20, 2011 that transfer of Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty requires the transfer of their vehicles and movable properties as well as the sale of their immovable property under the supervision of the UN in order to cover the costs of their security and living at Liberty and their transfer to third countries.

On December 28, 2011 Special Representative of Secretary General (SRSG) specified in his letter to the residents, “With regards to other issues, such as assets and properties, we will continue the discussion towards reaching a solution that respects the property rights of the residents in an organized way”. On January 25 and February 6 and 12, 2012 Iraqi government representative had announced to Ashraf residents’ representative in presence of the SRSG and his deputy that they agreed on selling of the vehicles and assets. The list of properties was consequently presented to the UNAMI.

However, four months later, neither the immovable properties have been settled nor the resident have been allowed to transfer movable properties to Camp Liberty or sell them. List of the properties include the following items:

Vehicles and various Machinery (1200 units)

Generators and power generating equipement (700 pieces and units)

Printing press, printers and duplicating machinery (300 items)

Medical equipment (300 items)

Industrial and production equipment and machinery (More than 400 units)

Household equipment and apparatus (40000 items)

Kitchen equipment and machinery (600 pieces and items)

Heating and cooling equipment (10000 units)

Audio- visual equipment (3000 pieces and units)

Telephone and telecommunication equipment (200 items)

Trailer and container (500 units)

water pipeline and canalization equipment (2000 items)

Civil defense equipment (3000 pieces)

The above list does not include large number of vehicles, machinery and equipment which were stolen by the Iraqi forces in their criminal attacks in July 2009, December 2010, and April 2011, details of which have been previously published.

Ashraf residents have turned the camp from a barren piece of land to a modern city equipped with power station and electricity network, two water pumping stations, water treatment and purification systems, roads, a university, a library, a museum, a hospital, a cemetery, a masque, parks, artificial lake, farms, industrial workshops, sport and leisure facilities and underground shelters for protection against bombings and repeated attacks of the Iranian regime with scud B missiles. There are hundreds of buildings and halls in this city with a surface area of hundreds of thousands square Kilometers as well as almost 100 Kilometers of roads and asphalt routes.

On December 21, 2011, Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri Al- Maliki, described Ashraf as “an Iraqi city and not a camp as it is called in the media”. On March 18, 2012 an Iraqi website, Al Esteghame, quoted officials of Diyala Province as saying, “Camp Ashraf is suitable for building an international airport or setting up several agricultural and trade projects to support the province’s economy. This Camp is a complete city and it can be used as an administrative unit capable of supplying services to Al-Adim Township of this province. Its public services are suitable for creating several strategic projects and strengthening investment opportunities in all sections of the province”.

All what have been built in Ashraf is the result of the efforts of thousands of residents working day and night on huge investments for 26 years. In early 2009 and before the cruel siege was imposed on Ashraf by Iraqi rulers, there was an average of daily 1500 Iraqi workers and hundreds of technicians who had been employed by Ashraf residents to work in this city.

Immovable property in Ashraf, which include infrastructure, establishments, buildings, roads and systems of water, electricity and sewage, have now been estimated to worth 500 million dollars.

More than 10 million dollars have been spent on Ashraf power station and its facilities and generators. The cost of two water pumping stations and piping from Zarganieh (30 km West of Ashraf) to Marfo’i (6 km East of Ashraf) has been more than 15 million dollars.

It has cost 2 million dollars to create a special route for transmitting electricity from Khalis to Ashraf. Buildings, equipment and facilities, gifted to Iraqi forces in 2009 worthed 10 million dollars. All the evidence and documents are available for these properties and can be presented to any competent authority.

According to the received information from inside Iranian regime, Iraqi government has formed a committee to give a legal face to the theft of Ashraf residents’ properties and to pretend that they belong to the government or people of Iraq. This committee prevented transfer of generators of Ashrafs residents to Camp Liberty under the pretext that the power station belongs to Iraqi government .

Bills for purchase of generators and all the equipment which have been bought and transferred to Ashraf under the supervision of US forces are available and have been presented to the UN and US authorities.

Mohammad Hamdi, director of Diyala electricity department, has asked Iraqi forces to help in stealing and looting Ashraf residents’ property and vehicles. In the past, he has repeatedly cut off the electricity of Ashraf in order to impose pressure on residents and to instead supply electricity to the agents of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry around Ashraf. In order to extort money from People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), he refused to implement instructions of the Ministry of Electricity to install electricity meters in residential areas in Ashraf. Thus, he has so far received at least 2 billion Iraqi Dinars in excess from residents.

Iranian Resistance warns against theft and plunder of Ashraf residents’ property and calls on the UN Secretary General, Security Council, US government, European Union and the relevant international sources to prevent the theft, plunder and seizure of Ashraf residents’ movable and immovable property by proxies of the Iranian regime in Iraq. Belongings and properties of Ashraf residents should be put on sale under the supervision of the United Nations to be then used for the expenses of Ashraf residents in Liberty and for their transfer to third country.

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.