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We Must Not Let History Repeat Itself

Ashraf Monitor, Issue 5
October 20, 2008

News about the Looming Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Monday, October 20, 2008

European Parliament, Resolution on Iran and Camp Ashraf
Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Whereas there are grounds for concern that members and associates of the Iranian opposition who are regrouped and protected in Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq by US-led multinational forces under Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention may be under threat of being expelled or forcibly returned to Iran, where they could face heavy persecution and possibly even the death penalty;

(European Parliament) Calls on the Iraqi and US authorities not to forcibly return to Iran any Iranian opposition members, refugees and asylum seekers who would be at serious risk of persecution and, in particular, to work together with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and others to find a satisfactory long-term solution to the situation of those currently in Camp Ashraf.

We Must Not Let History Repeat Itself
By: Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Vallely and Alireza Jafarzadeh
Middle East Times, October 17, 2008

Paul E. Vallely (MG, U.S. Army Ret) is the chairman of Stand Up America USA, and Alireza Jafarzadeh is the author of "The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis." (Palgrave, 2008)

KEEP ASHRAF OUT OF IRAN'S HANDS -- The lives of the 3,500 Iranian refugee rebels at Camp Ashraf in Iraq must not be put in jeopardy. The United States has a central role to play, and must prevent the transfer of Ashraf to the Iraqi security forces.

"We fear we will end up with a situation like Srebrenica," said an Iranian woman whose brother and a number of family members reside in Camp Ashraf, an area 40 miles north of Baghdad, where more than 3,500 exiled members of the main Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and their families have resided since 1986.

This young woman and dozens of other Iranian-Americans whose family members reside in Ashraf have been protesting in front of the U.N. Headquarters in New York since September. Concerned with the possible transfer of Camp Ashraf from U.S. personnel to Iraqi security forces, she said "it is like putting foxes in charge of the chicken coop."

Iranian influence in Iraq is heavy. Iraq's governmental institutions are fragile and its security forces are heavily infiltrated by Iran's mercenaries, whose terrorist acts are well-documented by the coalition forces. How can one reasonably feel confident about such an arrangement?

America's Obligations to Protect the Iranian Opposition
By Raymond Tanter
Human Events, July 15, 2008

During the 2003 Iraq invasion, U.S. forces bombed and then disarmed members of the MEK -- Mujahedeen-e Khalq -- an Iranian opposition group that had been given refuge in Iraq. Now under U.S. protection in Camp Ashraf in Iraq, MEK members face a bleak future if U.S. forces hand over control of the base to the Iraqi government or withdraw precipitously from Iraq. The U.S. government has obligations under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law refugees cannot be dispersed to a country where they would face persecution -- to protect the MEK.

The U.S. military provided protection but is under pressure by the Iranian regime and its allies in Iraq to allow the Government of Iraq to provide security for the MEK or the PMOI -- People's Mojahedin of Iran. But Baghdad is beholden to Tehran: Rather than protect the Iranian oppositionists, Iraqi security forces may choose to assassinate, slaughter, or kidnap them for transfer to Iran where public hangings await them. Read More

Documents say Iran aids militias from Iraq
The New York TimesRead More
Sunday, October 19, 2008

WASHINGTON ... Such is a typical day at a dusty military base outside Tehran, where for the past several years members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives have trained Iraqi Shiites to launch attacks against American forces in Iraq, according to accounts given to American interrogators by captured Iraqi fighters.

American officials have long cited Iranian training and weapons as reasons for the lethality of attacks by Shiite fighters in Iraq. Iranian officials deny that such training takes place.

Now, more than 80 pages of newly declassified intelligence documents for the first time describe in detail an elaborate network used by Iraqis to gain entry into Iran and train under Iranian supervision. They offer the most comprehensive account to date to support American claims about Iranian efforts to build a proxy force in Iraq. Those claims have become highly politicized, with Bush administration critics charging that accounts of Iranian involvement have been exaggerated.

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