U.S. State Department Appeasing Iran Mullahs Before Moscow Talks

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The Statement of the US State Department spokesperson and rush briefing sessions around the evacuation of Ashraf, without minimum humanitarian guarantees, is a harmful stimulus. It is a free prepaid and fruitless appeasement of religious fascism on the eve of the Moscow nuclear talks.

The State Department either does not know what is going on, or is willfully misrepresenting the situation. According to the State Department, in a media briefing a few days ago, a nameless “Senior Administration Official” said “I don’t want to speak authoritatively about MEK thinking, because we’re not sure we understand it. [In our] informed speculation, we believe the MEK may indeed calculate that a change of government in Iraq could rebound to their advantage, and they may be able to stay.”

The residents of Ashraf and their representatives have demonstrated their utmost goodwill on five different occasions with the transfer of two-thirds of the residents of Ashraf to Camp Liberty. They are anxiously awaiting the implementation of the commitments of the Iraqi government as the statement by the Department of State underscores.

State Department Guessing, Rather Than Investigating

Spokespersons of the State Department try in vain, by changing the issue, simultaneous with the nuclear negotiations with the regime in Moscow. They are trying to connect the halt of transfer of the sixth convoy from Ashraf to Camp Liberty, that has been going on for a month and a half, with the judgment of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and also to Maliki’s shaky situation in Iraq.

This is not the issue.

What The State Department Does Not Want To Understand

The principal issue, around which negotiations have been going on for months, is the minimum guarantees and the residents’ legitimate and rational demands that have existed for more than a year and declared in hundreds of statements and positions.

These demands were on the table long before the judgment of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and before Maliki’s political situation in Iraq, and are not new. The realization of these demands has been, at each turn, deferred to the movement of the next convoy. Nevertheless, the judgment by the court makes the removal of the designation of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) which has acted as the most important pretext for the Iraqi government in two previous massacres, appropriate.

The principal difficulty is the non-implementation of the previous commitments and agreements by the Iraqi government and the UNAMI chief Martin Kobler. Hundreds of letters, written individually and collectively, by the residents, as well as dozens of letters by the representatives of Ashraf in Iraq and abroad, to Mr. Kobler, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Ambassador Dan Fried, as well as repeated violations of the agreements by the Iraqi government, attest to this reality.

Too Hard For The State Department?

The residents’ request for the US to inspect Camp Ashraf is to prevent the Iraqi government and the Iranian regime’s operatives in Iraq from planting weapons, and then stage-managing the finding of ammunition and explosives at Camp Ashraf, once the residents leave.

For this reason, the representative of the residents of Ashraf wrote to the Secretary of State’s Special Adviser on Ashraf on June 17, 2012. That letter said that we do not believe the inspection of Ashraf is difficult for the US government. If no inspection of Ashraf is done as a confidence building measure for the groups leaving Ashraf to Liberty from now on, for their families and the Iranian community, at a minimum, the U.S. must ensure that the path for further abuse and claims by the Iranian and Iraqi governments is adequately closed. That will mean there will be no room for Iran and Iraq to stage manage the inspection of the camp and issue potential false claims.

It was the lawyer representing the State Department during the May 8th hearing before the Court of Appeals who claimed that they could not verify that Ashraf was fully disarmed and consequently drew an angry reaction from the US commanders responsible for protection of Ashraf, who have inspected buildings and land in Ashraf several times.

Now we welcome that Ms. Victoria Nuland, official spokesperson of the State Department, in her statement of June 18, recognized the re-inspection of Ashraf is unnecessary and stressed that requests for inspection of Ashraf from the State Department as a precondition for the transfer of the next groups to Liberty, is a deviation from the path.

Recent publicly-declared conditions for cooperation, including calls for the Department to inspect Camp Ashraf as a precondition for further relocations to Camp Hurriya, are an unnecessary distraction. State Department

If this means agreement of the State Department with voiding its lawyer’s claim and agreement with the court’s decision in this regard, the State Department should say so clearly.

In the recent court decision, based on the testimony of the commanders responsible for protection of Ashraf, the lawyer’s claim was ignored. Otherwise the court would have ordered an inspection of the camp.

U.S. State Department Appeasing The Mullahs

The court, also, did not link the evacuation of Ashraf and delisting, and has not connected these two issues together. Conditioning and relating these two issues together is a political issue for the U.S. Administration, in order to circumvent the judicial order and move forward with their policy of appeasing the mullahs’ regime.

On June 15, Mrs. Rajavi, National Council of Resistance of Iran, wrote to Mr. Kobler, The United Nations’ Special Representative. “You would recall that since last December, I have been asking for a comprehensive document for relocation arrangement; a document in which everything would be resolved. But every time we went through a painful and crisis process. The time has come that in our meeting, everything be settled between us and the SRSG in a joint statement and in a number of Articles, so all of the Ashraf residents would go to Liberty and subsequently to third countries while being content and satisfied that their minimum rights have been observed and met.”

Mrs. Rajavi had earlier urged Mr. Kobler to issue a statement either himself or agree to one issued by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), after which he could meet with Mrs. Rajavi on June 17.

Demonstrating Goodwill, Five Times

The residents of Ashraf and their representatives have demonstrated their utmost goodwill on five different occasions with the transfer of two-thirds of the residents of Ashraf to Camp Liberty. They are anxiously awaiting the implementation of the commitments of the Iraqi government as the statement by the Department of States underscores.

In this situation, it seems that some statements and briefings by the State Department on Ashraf saying that the residents have to immediately resume their cooperation with Kobler and the Iraqi government, serve only to ease up the atmosphere for their Moscow negotiations. A free downpayment by the State Department to appease the ruling mullahs in Iran, at the cost of the Iranian resistance and Mojahedin in this U.S. election year, is as futile now as it ever was before.

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.