MKO announced refusal to be relocated until basic living conditions improved in TTL
As with the previous groups, anything is ready for the relocation of the sixth group of Aashraf residents to the Temporary Transit Location TTL near Baghdad but MKO’s leaders. Although eccentric, it has become a typically expected behavior of MKO to make new excuses just on the threshold of a decided relocation. As expected, the group’s ringleaders and advocates have started a propaganda blitz announcing that they refuse to be relocated to the temporary facility until basic living conditions there improve. A number of current and former American officials have also joined the group calling for the U.S. government to push for those changes and improvements.
Gathered together in a conference organized by Global Initiative for Democracy (GID), another MKO-founded alias active under a pro-democratic cover, to voice their support for the group and to justify its refusal of relocation, some former officials seemed to be performing the role of partisans and lay figures more ardently than expected and beyond the commanding influence of the group, talking in the position of the ringleaders themselves.
The former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, for instance, stated that “Unless these demands (for improved living conditions) are met, we’re not sending” to Camp Liberty those that remain at Camp Ashraf. He also called on the United States, and the United Nations to inspect the camp for weapons now, “so they can record there are no weapons, so the Iraqis can’t come in and plant weapons after the fact”, a request Maryam Rajavi is already demanding to be accomplished.
The other to repeat ringleaders’ peevish complaints over the living conditions at TTL was Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) who in an attempt to justify the backlash against the relocation said “we should not continue transferring them until Camp Liberty is in a shape to accept them… I will be there with you side-by-side every step of the way to make sure that we finally get freedom for the residents.”
The predicament of residents in Ashraf and TTL has turned into a real problem since no country has yet accepted to receive them on its soil. That is why the concerns about the transformation of TTL into a permanent location have heightened. However, MKO’s American partisans are expected to be the first to solve the problem and a suggestion was offered in the arranged conference by the former State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley who stressed on “the power of our example and the leadership of the United States,” saying, “We are in a much stronger position when we have opened our door, welcomed the first residents of Camp Ashraf to the United States and then say to the rest of the world, we are doing our share, now it’s your turn.”
But MKO will have to submit to relocation despite all the fuss it is making because its lawyers are expanding the struggle fronts to convince, or rather to force, the State Department remove it from the terror list of FTO. Regardless of a variety of court orders, the latest issued on Friday ordering the Secretary of State to decide within four months, the cooperation of MKO in “the successful and peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf will be a key factor in her decision regarding the MEK’s FTO status”. And Hilary Clinton’s words are more promising and legally liable to count on, notwithstanding the high-profile American partisans forge an influential front.