Iraq Threatens To Kill Ashraf Residents, State Department Wakes Up

After Mr. Kobler’s green light at the UN Security Council, Maliki’s national security advisor threatens to kill Ashraf residents. The US Government is responsible for protection of residents in both Camps Ashraf and Liberty, based on international law and mutual agreement.

On July 20, the Iranian resistance announced that remarks by Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, against Ashraf residents at the UN Security Council, praising Maliki’s patience and flexibility would prepare for the third massacre of the residents by Iraqi forces.

Just ten days later, Faleh Fayaz, Maliki’s national security advisor, threatened Ashraf residents with the use of force, attack and killing. He stated that the extension for the closure of Camp Ashraf ends today and from today, Iraq has the right to make any decision on their fate and will take measures towards its lawful and legitimate responsibilities to enforce Iraq’s sovereignty.

Reuters quoted Faleh Fayaz as saying, “Iraq will force out Iran dissident group.”

kobler maliki ashraf
SSRG Martin Kobler gives green light on Ashraf.

Martin Kobler’s remarks were published by Iraqi media and broadcast by the Iranian regime’s Arabic television, Al-Forat. Kobler stated, “Our assessment of Camp Hurriah is that its humanitarian standards for its residents who are 2000 in number is acceptable and it is also satisfactory for the remaining 1200 residents in Camp Ashraf. I urge Ashraf residents to transfer their personal belongings for inspection and subsequent relocation. Iraq’s sovereignty and law must be respected by anyone who lives on Iraqi soil.”

Under these circumstances, Mr. Kobler’s official remarks and statements refraining Iraq from resorting to violence would not solve anything.

Kobler Responsible For Any Attack

The reality is that remarks of Martin Kobler at the UN Security Council on July 19, the document that he published on July 24 under the title of ‘Roadmap,’ and his remarks of July 31, are the green light and encouragement to the Government of Iraq in attacking and massacring the residents. He is totally responsible for any raid and offense to the residents of Ashraf and Liberty.

U.S. Government Responsible For Protection

The Iranian Resistance also holds the U.S. Government responsible for the protection of Ashraf and Liberty residents based on international laws and mutual agreement that all Ashraf residents signed individually with the US government, in which the US accepted responsibility for the residents’ protection in return for their voluntary disarming. The Iranian Resistance calls on the US President and the Secretary of State to carry out their responsibilities and to prevent another human catastrophe.

Ashraf Residents Demonstrated Good Will

Since February, two thirds of Ashraf residents (2000 persons) moved to Liberty in five convoys without their minimum humanitarian needs being provided. The infrastructure of Liberty is woefully inadequate and humanitarian and human rights standards are constantly violated there. At every turn, Kobler and Iraq postponed the fulfillment of the humanitarian needs to the next convoy. The transfer of 2,000 residents demonstrated the utmost good will of the residents. Any deadline, attack, or intimidation now, solely reveals the ominous intention of Iraq and Mr. Kobler’s functioning in the framework of the setting by the Iranian regime and the government of Iraq.

The representatives of the residents provided a specific practical plan for implementation of the eight items of humanitarian needs to Mr. Kobler at the July 26 meeting. They stipulated that the sixth convoy will go to Liberty only after these needs are met.

The Residents’ needs are:

  • Connection of Liberty to the city water network or pumping water from a river adjacent to the camp
  • transfer of the main 1.5 Mega Watt generators
  • allowing the sale of the movable and immovable properties
  • minimum constructions, particularly of special facilities for disabled and ill people
  • transfer of the six utility vehicles and 6 trailers for the disabled
  • transfer of 5 forklifts and 50 passenger cars.
  • According to this plan, the residents expressed their readiness to implement the above 8 items at their own cost and energy and by utilizing Iraqi contractors a month after the approval by Iraq; and subsequently the sixth convoy will be transferred to Liberty. But Iraq, receiving all of its orders on Ashraf from the Iranian regime, has refrained from implementing this simple and practical plan.

    Iraq is planning for the third massacre at Ashraf.

    U.S. State Department Finally Wakes Up

    Only now is the U.S. State department beginning to see their previous inaction has caused a problem, and allowed the government of Iraq to believe it can do as it pleases, as the Obama Administration stands aside.

    Patrick Ventrell, Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Office of Press Relations issued a Press Statement a short time ago, that said:

    The United States is concerned by the Government of Iraq’s reference on July 31 to the possible closure of Camp Ashraf by involuntary relocation of its residents. We urge the Government of Iraq to remain patient and flexible in seeking a voluntary arrangement for continued relocations, as only a peaceful resolution to the situation at Camp Ashraf is acceptable. This requires that continued dialogue be pursued in place of forcible measures and that all sides act in accordance with the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Iraqi Government and the United Nations.

    We also call on the Ashraf leadership to immediately resume cooperation with the relocation of residents to Camp Hurriya, especially following the Iraqi Government’s delivery of a cargo convoy of goods as demanded by the residents on July 15. Allegations of dire humanitarian conditions at Hurriya are inconsistent with observations made by U.S. Government officials who have visited Hurriya, as well as reporting from UN monitors. Based on these reports, and other information, it is clear that the quality of life at Hurriya exceeds accepted humanitarian standards. The continued intransigence of the residents’ leadership in placing preconditions and making demands prior to any agreement to relocate further Ashraf residents is unacceptable and puts in danger protections established in the MOU.

    The process established by the MOU has resulted in the safe relocation of nearly 2,000 residents from Camp Ashraf, almost two-thirds of its estimated population. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq’s (UNAMI) “Roadmap” provides a peaceful way forward for Ashraf’s closure, and the United States urges adherence to this process to finally and peacefully close Camp Ashraf. Ashraf’s closure will allow UNAMI, the United States, and our partners to focus attention and efforts on a durable solution for the residents’ relocation outside of Iraq.

    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.