Ashraf Residents; human beings or means of leverage Once benefiting the grandeur of being Saddam’s favorite base housing the leaders and members of an opposition struggling to overthrow Iran’s cleric regime, now Camp Ashraf, after the leaders dislocated the group’s headquarters to Auvers-Sur-Oise in France and left the members to suffer forlorn of any hope to survive, is nearing its last days. Nobody seems to be worry about the destiny of about 3,500 human beings victimized under the totalistic rule of a cult of personality.
There has been suggested a number of options to decide future of these members even by the groups own advocates like Raymond Tanter who in a recent article published by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy states:
Options regarding Iraqi-based MEK members are limited, but include the following: sending them to the United States; allowing them to stay in Iraq under Iraqi control; dispersing them to surrounding countries, including Iran; or maintaining the status quo with the continued protection of the U.S. military. Since each option is problematic, finding a solution is neither easy nor simple.
He calls the options problematic because he, and other people following his line of thought, are never thinking of these Ashraf residents as individuals who as the human beings have the right of thinking and deciding for their own destiny and where to settle. They are not the properties of the cult to be transferred en masse as they are thought to:
Assuming a transfer of MEK members were possible, many questions remain regarding their destination. There are many reasons why it would be difficult for the European and U.S. governments, or Iraq’s Kurdish regional bloc, to accept the MEK en masse to their territories.
Moving the group’s members to the United States, for instance, is currently impossible because of MEK’s status as a foreign terrorist organization. This status could change, however, if the designation is lifted in October 2008 when the Department of State performs a regular review process. This appears to be a viable possibility given recent developments in the United Kingdom, where the British government was forced to remove the group from its terrorist list after an independent judicial commission — one ratified by a British appeals court — determined that such a designation was no longer appropriate.
If Ashraf’s security responsibilities were transferred to Iraqi security forces, as demanded by the Iranian regime, it would be a flagrant violation of international laws and conventions. Since it is widely reported that the Iranian regime has infiltrated Iraqi military and security forces, and wields significant influence within the government, such a move would certainly invite a humanitarian catastrophe. No U.S. president would want to leave such a legacy.
Moreover, dispersing the MEK, in addition to being illegal, is likely to decrease the international community’s leverage over the Iranian regime. Because the regime pays more attention to the opposition in Iraq than all other opposition groups combined, a case could be made to rely on the MEK as leverage to encourage Tehran to give up its quest for nuclear weapons capability.
The last lines clearly delineate the intention of what he refers to as ‘the international community’. Nobody is the least interested in the life and destiny of these enslaved people in Camp Ashraf as human beings. The Europeans and Americans have reached a consensus to manipulate these members as means of leverage to be used against the Iranian regime to fulfill their own ambitious interests rather than respecting humanitarian issues they fervently publicize to be advocating.