Demand America respect Iraqi sovereignty and invite them to take responsibility for protecting MKO
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi lawmakers on Monday expressed support for the Government plan to transfer members of the Mojahedin Khalq, an Iranian opposition, to Baghdad, calling on the U.S. Government to respect the decision as a sovereign right of Iraq. But the Vice-Council has urged the U.S. Government to take over responsibility for security for the camp’s members who should be transferred to the U.S. Forces.
The MP, Abdul Hadi al-Hassani, said in respect of the rule of law, the Government would deal with members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization humanely, but at the same time we want the United States to respect our decision and comply with non-interference in the internal affairs and sovereignty over Iraq’s territory, as we do not want to alienate our relations with neighbouring countries.
Mr al-Hassani told Aswat al-Iraq that the Iraqi Government sees "the need to remove the MKO from the Iranian border and the PKK from the Turkish border," pointing out that the two sides "are a danger to Iraq’s relations with its neighbours ".
He explained that the Government’s holds documents and pictures which are compelling evidence "which condemns the members of the MKO and the PKK for their armed operations during the former regime and the current phase."
The United States yesterday called on the Iraqi government to treat the Iranian dissidents, living on Iraqi territory for twenty years, humanely following the announcement of the transfer of the MEK camp to Baghdad.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in a statement from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, we urged the Iraqi authorities to go about the transfer of Camp Ashraf in a legitimate and humanitarian way, emphasizing Iraqi sovereignty over all Iraqi territory, including the area on which Camp Ashraf stands. And the Iraqi government assured us that "it would not expel any of these persons to a country where they may face inhuman treatment”.
On the other hand, the Deputy of the Iraqi National Coalition, Hamid Malp, in a statement rejected the U.S. State Department demand that the Iraqi government deal humanely with the members of the MKO which were involved in terrorism in Iraq during the former regime as well as now embracing armed groups in Diyala and Baghdad."
Malp told (Voices of Iraq) that there is intelligence information with the Government which "emphasizes the organization and financing of a link from some quarters outside the law." In an afterthought he said "his forces would take the decision to hold people accountable only after support and documentation of this information," he says.
Malp said that the transfer to the MKO camp to Baghdad, "will lead to positive results in the various sectors," pointing out that the Organization’s presence in Diyala has been "a controversial subject for a long time."
The Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Thursday, 10 December, that the population of Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf) would be transferred next week to Baghdad.
The Iraqi Government took over responsibility for security inside Camp Ashraf from U.S. forces early this year and re-named it Camp New Iraq in August.
In the same context, Mohammed Tamim, MP for the Dialogue Council, said the U.S. State Department’s demand for the Iraqi government to deal with the MKO humanely was "insufficient" and called on U.S. forces to "take over security responsibility for the camp, so the Iraqi government can transfer members of the organization to the U.S."
Tamim told Aswat al-Iraq that the decision to transfer the members of the Mojahedin from Camp Ashraf to Baghdad after two days of bombings (Bloody Tuesday) was "erroneous and imported from Iran." He said the decision was a “negative step resulting from the Iraqi Government’s efforts to convince the Iranians that the MKO was behind explosions that occur in the country".
Attorney Tamim said that the people of Camp Ashraf are "refugees, entitled to Iraqi Government help to provide an appropriate atmosphere to them after their escape from a terrorist group, such as is the obligation of the Arab and international community.”
According to the MP from the Kurdistan Alliance bloc Abdul Bari Zebari, "the Iraqi Government condemns the group for their documented participation in the suppression of the popular uprising in 1991 and attack on the worshipers in a mosque in Sadr City in Baghdad the same year, and that the regime of Saddam Hussein used the MKO to attack his opponents."
Zebari told Aswat al-Iraq that he believed that the Government "only took the decision to transfer the group to Baghdad after discussion with the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and after guaranteeing the members of the Organization would not be exposed to danger”. He added, "For the time being we should not repeat the process of involving the embassy in local affairs as happened when Iraqi security forces entered into Camp Ashraf for the establishment of a police base inside it."
The Mojahedin Khalq, an Iranian opposition group, numbers about 3500 people, based in Camp Ashraf, which covers an area of 16 square kilometers, 55 km north of Baquba, capital of Diyala province where it has been based since 1986.