MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years AgoIran Interlink, September 16 2020:… In his report, Mr. Ban urges those who express support for the residents of Camp Hurriya and the remaining residents of another camp, New Iraq, to stop spreading insults and falsehoods about Mr. Kobler, who heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and instead help to promote a durable solution. He adds that the significant funds evidently spent on high-profile lobbying could be more usefully utilized to improve aspects of the humanitarian conditions often cited in media and lobbying campaigns. MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago 

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years AgoIran Interlink Fourth Report from Baghdad (2014)

 

 

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

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State Department Removes Last MEK Members from Iraq (Mojahedin Khalq, MKO …)

Barbara Slavin, Voice Of America, September 15 2016:…  A Marxist-Islamist group that killed six Americans in Tehran in the 1970s and lost out in a power struggle after the 1979 Iranian revolution, the MEK fled to Iraq and supported Saddam in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. That decision earned the undying enmity of most Iranians – a fact that MEK leaders sought to conceal in their efforts to cultivate support in the United States. The MEK also helped Saddam brutally suppress uprisings by Iraqi … 

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years AgoLink to the full description of Mojahedin (MEK, MKO) Logo (pdf file)

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years AgoMojahedin Khalq (MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult) terrorists openly declare support for ISIL, terror acts

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years AgoCouncil of Foreign Relations, 2014: Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK). Backgrounders

Link to the source

State Department Removes Last MEK Members from Iraq

Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Monday that the last 280 members of a controversial Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), had been removed from a camp near Baghdad and given refuge in Albania.

The news aroused little notice amid Kerry’s remarks about a bigger story – a new attempt at a cease-fire agreement in Syria. But the announcement marks an end to a long-running saga that was among the many unforeseen complications of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The relocation also diminishes the likelihood that the MEK will be able to foment more mischief in the Middle East.

A Marxist-Islamist group that killed six Americans in Tehran in the 1970s and lost out in a power struggle after the 1979 Iranian revolution, the MEK fled to Iraq and supported Saddam in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. That decision earned the undying enmity of most Iranians – a fact that MEK leaders sought to conceal in their efforts to cultivate support in the United States.

The MEK also helped Saddam brutally suppress uprisings by Iraqi Shiites and Kurds after the 1991 Gulf War and is believed responsible for attacks on Iranian officials in the 1990s. For this reason, the group – which for decades kept adherents at a base outside Baghdad called Camp Ashraf – was persona non grata in a post-Saddam Iraq dominated by Shiites and Kurds.

The administration of President Bill Clinton put the MEK on the State Department terrorism list in 1997 in what some say was a gesture to the then reformist government of Iran, led by President Mohammad Khatami.  The political arm of the group, the so-called National Council of Resistance, lobbied for years to be removed from the list and finally succeeded in 2012 when Iran was at the height of its international isolation over its nuclear program.

Even after winning this fight, the group continued to hold “conventions” in Paris, where Maryam Rajavi, the widow of MEK leader Massoud Rajavi, held court. The MEK has also continued to pay large speaking fees to a bipartisan assortment of former U.S. officials, including  former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who supports Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton backer Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor.

In July, a former Saudi head of intelligence and ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, also appeared at such a meeting and called for the “downfall of the [Iranian] regime.” This led many observers to conclude that much of the MEK’s money is coming from Saudi Arabia, which is embroiled in a bitter rivalry with the Iranian government.

Mujahedin e-Khalq MEK From Iraq to Albania

After Saddam was overthrown, the residents of Camp Ashraf were in obvious peril. The George W. Bush administration, which had earlier promised Iran that the MEK members would be declared enemy combatants, instead put the camp under U.S. projection.

For years, the MEK was able to use the plight of the stranded camp inhabitants to attract support for its cause. Given the hostility of the Baghdad government and occasional violent Iraqi intrusions into the camp, concern for these people’s welfare was justified. At the end of 2011, the group agreed to transfer the more than 3,000 residents of Ashraf to a former U.S. military base closer to Baghdad known as Camp Liberty and to allow the U.N. to begin processing residents for eventual resettlement.

It took years for U.S. officials to find countries willing to accept the MEK members; the effort was reminiscent of that required to try to empty out Guantanamo.

In announcing the departure of the last residents from Camp Liberty, Kerry called it rare “good news.” “Their departure concludes a significant American diplomatic initiative that has assured the safety of more than 3,000 MEK members whose lives have been under threat,” Kerry said.  “And as everybody remembers, the camp they were in had on many occasions been shelled.  There were people killed and injured.  And we have been trying to figure out the way forward.”

State Department officials say that Albania has accepted the largest number of MEK refugees. In addition, Kerry said, Germany, Norway, Italy, Britain, Finland and other European countries have taken MEK members. “This is a major humanitarian achievement, and I’m very proud that the United States was able to play a pivotal role in helping to get this job done,” Kerry said.

The group has also been in the news lately because of the release of recorded comments by the late Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri condemning the Iranian regime for executing thousands of jailed MEK members in 1988 at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. MEK leaders had foolishly sent adherents into Iran after the Islamic Republic accepted a U.N.-brokered cease-fire. Then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini retaliated by sanctioning the killing of the detainees, many of whom had been scooped up as youngsters in the chaos following the revolution. Montazeri, who had been Khomeini’s heir apparent, was pushed aside because of his criticism of the executions and spent many of his last years under house arrest in the Iranian clerical center of Qom. His taped remarks were released by his son.

From the Archive: Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) in Iraq 2009

The 1988 executions – which also killed many leftists and other regime opponents — were a grotesque abuse of human rights. But sympathy for the victims should not lead to support for the MEK. Far from the “democratic” organization it purports to be, the group is a cult that forces members to be celibate, to give up personal wealth and to show complete allegiance to Ms. Rajavi.

As unpopular as the current government of Iran may be, it is hard to find Iranians who would switch from the current system to one led by the MEK. Hopefully, the former residents of Camp Ashraf will be able to construct new lives outside Iraq and memories of the movement will fade.

The End Of The Path Documentary (Teaser 1 & teaser2)

Barbara Slavin is Acting Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington. Follow her on Twitter @barbaraslavin1 

Link to the source (Iran Interlink)

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

*** 

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Ban urges dialogue amid increased tensions, welcomes offer to Mojahedin Khalq

(MEK lobby should stop spreading insults and falsehoods about Mr. Kobler)

.

… The statement added that Mr. Ban “unequivocally supports” the efforts of his Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, “to courageously and creatively, in exceptionally difficult circumstances, help resolve this situation.” In his report, Mr. Ban urges those who express support for the residents of Camp Hurriya and the remaining residents of another camp, New Iraq, to stop spreading insults and falsehoods about Mr. Kobler, who heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and instead help to promote a durable solution. He adds that the significant funds evidently spent on high-profile lobbying could be more usefully utilized to improve aspects of the humanitarian conditions often cited in media and lobbying campaigns …


(Alejo Vidal-Quadras , Mojahedin Khalq logo, Struan stevenson )


(Izzat Ebrahim and Massoud Rajavi still at large)

UN News center, March 19 2013
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44418&Cr=iraq&Cr1=#.UUgWhpNFAdU

18 March 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a new report, voices concern about political tensions and security incidents in Iraq, which have increased in recent months, and calls on all parties to resolve outstanding issues through dialogue.

Separately, Mr. Ban and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, today welcomed a generous offer by Albania of humanitarian admission for 210 residents from Camp Hurriya, located near the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The camp serves as a transit facility for more than 3,000 exiles, most of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran, where a process to determine their refugee status is being carried out by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). An attack on the camp last month left seven people dead and more than 40 injured.

“He expects and urges the residents to positively respond to Albania’s offer and to cooperate with UNHCR to relocate in the coming days,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. “The Secretary-General urges other Member States to follow suit and to offer residents a safe relocation outside of Iraq, in light of their need for international protection.”

The statement added that Mr. Ban “unequivocally supports” the efforts of his Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, “to courageously and creatively, in exceptionally difficult circumstances, help resolve this situation.”

***

What does it mean when we say ISIS operates as a mind control cult?What does it mean when we say ISIS operates as a mind control cult?

In his report, Mr. Ban urges those who express support for the residents of Camp Hurriya and the remaining residents of another camp, New Iraq, to stop spreading insults and falsehoods about Mr. Kobler, who heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and instead help to promote a durable solution.

He adds that the significant funds evidently spent on high-profile lobbying could be more usefully utilized to improve aspects of the humanitarian conditions often cited in media and lobbying campaigns.

More generally, Mr. Ban writes in the report that the security environment in Iraq remained “volatile and unpredictable” in recent months, fuelled by political and sectarian tensions.

He appeals to all parties to intensify their efforts to find solutions to longstanding political, legislative and legal issues through dialogue and in a spirit of compromise and flexibility.

The protests that erupted in late December in various parts of the country, as well as the relations between the Iraqi Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, which deteriorated in late November over the issue of security coordination in the disputed territories, has presented “major challenges” for the Government of Iraq ahead of the upcoming governorate council elections scheduled for 20 April, notes Mr. Ban.

He urges the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to resume dialogue, noting that transparent and accountable sharing of power and resources is essential for ensuring further political stability, economic growth and prosperity for all. “There is no alternative to peaceful coexistence in a united federal Iraq,” he stresses.

Commenting on the upcoming elections, Mr. Ban urges the relevant authorities to ensure the fair representation of women and minorities in elected bodies, including by adopting the recommendation of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) that a 25 per cent quota for women be enshrined in the electoral laws, applicable to all elections.

Meanwhile, he continues to have serious concerns about some aspects of the administration of justice in Iraq, including reports of abuse and mistreatment of prisoners and detainees, failure to respect due process and shortcomings in meeting fair trial standards.

“I am also concerned by the particular difficulties faced by women who come in contact with the criminal justice system,” he writes. “I urge the Government of Iraq to ensure that due process is fully respected in line with the Constitution, as well as international human rights law obligations, while at the same time ensuring that alleged cases of abuse and mistreatment are thoroughly investigated and that those responsible are held to full account.”

He also calls on the Government to investigate the 9 February attack on Camp Hurriya, and to show flexibility in finding a constructive solution for the resolution of the property issue in Camp New Iraq.

The residents there, numbering 100, insist that their relocation cannot occur until the issue of movable and immovable property is resolved. He urges the residents to engage on this issue, as well as to engage with the UNHCR resettlement process.

Mujahedin Khalq MEK Saddam Hussain

Rajavi from Saddam to AIPACRajavi from Saddam to AIPACRajavi from Saddam to AIPAC
(Rajavi from Saddam to AIPAC)

Link to the source (Iran Interlink)

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

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EU welcomes Albanian offer, Fully supports Martin Kobler efforts

(Finding a solution for Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)

.

… The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission issued the following statement today: “I welcome the decision by the Government of Albania to resettle 210 former residents of Camp Ashraf, now temporarily located in Camp Hurriya. I have followed this issue very closely, lending my full support to the work of the United ations Assistance Mission for Iraq, and in particular the Secretary General’s Special Representative Martin Kobler, towards a peaceful and durable solution to this humanitarian issue. Permanent resettlement outside Iraq is the only such solution …

The Life of Camp Ashraf, Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many MastersThe Life of Camp Ashraf,
Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters

Office of Catherine Ashton, European Union, March 21 2013
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/
cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/136360.pdf

EUROPEA/ U/IO/ Brussels, 20 March 2013

A 153/13

Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the decision by Albania to offer resettlement to 210 former residents of Camp Ashraf

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission issued the following statement today: “I welcome the decision by the Government of Albania to resettle 210 former residents of Camp Ashraf, now temporarily located in Camp Hurriya. I have followed this issue very closely, lending my full support to the work of the United ations Assistance Mission for Iraq, and in particular the Secretary General’s Special Representative Martin Kobler, towards a peaceful and durable solution to this humanitarian issue. Permanent resettlement outside Iraq is the only such solution.

The attacks of 9 February on Camp Hurriya have reminded us that all efforts must now be made to ensure that the process of resettlement to third countries moves forward without delay.

Iranian resistance group MKO to move to Albania (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, NCRI, …)Iranian resistance group MKO to move to Albania (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, NCRI, …)

I therefore call on the MEK leadership and the residents to respond positively to the offer made by the Government of Albania and to cooperate constructively with the United Nations, including by resuming the interviews with the UNHCR. I understand that this does not represent a complete answer to the problem the residents are facing, but I am convinced that this is a first step in the right direction, which deserves everybody’s support. I also recall the responsibility of the Government of Iraq to ensure the safety and security of residents of both Camp Ashraf and Camp Hurriya, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 25 December 2011 with the United Nations.”
____________

P R E S S
FOR FURTHER DETAILS:
Michael Mann +32 498 999 780 – +32 2 584 9780- Michael.Mann@eeas.europa.eu
Maja Kocijancic +32 498 984 425 – +32 2 298 65 70 – Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu
Sebastien Brabant +32 460 75 09 98 – Sebastien.Brabant@ec.europa.eu
/abila Massrali +32 460 75 41 75 – /abila.Massrali@ec.europa.eu
Eamonn Prendergast +32 460 75 32 93 – Eamonn.Prendergast@ec.europa.eu
Follow us on Twitter@eu_eeas
www.eeas.europa.eu
E/

Link to the source (Iran Interlink)

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

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U.S. pushes Mojahedin Khalq to accept Albanian asylum offer

(aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)

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… The U.S. wants the MeK leadership to “accept the government of Albania’s humanitarian offer immediately, and urges the residents of Camp [Liberty] to resume participation in resettlement interviews to ensure that individuals avail themselves of safe and secure relocation opportunities outside Iraq,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. The dissidents are housed at Camp Liberty, a temporary location near Baghdad’s international airport. “We further urge the MeK leadership to place the highest priority on the safety and security of the former residents of [Camp] Ashraf through full and unconditional cooperation …

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

Ashish Kumar Sen, Washington Times, March 18 2013
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/18/
us-iranian-dissidents-accept-albanian-asylum-offer/?page=1

The Obama administration said Monday that an Iranian dissident group must immediately accept an offer of asylum from Albania for some its members being housed at a camp in Iraq.

Albania has agreed to take in 210 members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MeK), a dissident group that seeks to overthrow Iran’s theocratic regime.

The MeK has rejected the offer.

The U.S. wants the MeK leadership to “accept the government of Albania’s humanitarian offer immediately, and urges the residents of Camp [Liberty] to resume participation in resettlement interviews to ensure that individuals avail themselves of safe and secure relocation opportunities outside Iraq,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

The dissidents are housed at Camp Liberty, a temporary location near Baghdad’s international airport.

“We further urge the MeK leadership to place the highest priority on the safety and security of the former residents of [Camp] Ashraf through full and unconditional cooperation with the resettlement process,” Mrs. Nuland said.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has been interviewing Camp Liberty residents to determine their eligibility for refugee status.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants the Iranians out of his country.

The Iraqi government is “working closely with the U.N. and the international community to find a permanent places for the residents of the Camp Hurriya outside Iraq,” an Iraqi official said on background.

The Obama administration welcomed the Albanian offer, which it described as “generous,” and thanked Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha “for the humanitarian gesture to provide a safe haven” for the Iranians, said Mrs. Nuland.

“We believe the permanent resettlement of former Ashraf residents outside Iraq is the only sustainable solution and remain committed to assisting [U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees] and the government of Iraq in this endeavor,” she said.

Saddam Hussein gave the MeK refuge in Iraq in the 1980s. The dissidents established a paramilitary base, Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad. After the Iraqi strongman was overthrown in a U.S. invasion in 2003, U.S. military forces disarmed the dissidents, who had renounced violence in 2001.

Meanwhile, Martin Kobler, the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general in Iraq, met Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the State Department on Monday morning.

Mrs. Nuland said the U.S. “strongly supports” Mr. Kobler, the UNHCR and UNAMI.

The Clinton administration designated the MeK as a foreign terrorist group in 1997 while it sought to open negotiations with Iran. The designation had proved to be an obstacle to finding other countries willing to give asylum to the Iranians.

The Obama administration took the MeK off the terrorism list in September.

Camp Ashraf’s 3,100 residents were transferred to Camp Liberty under a deal brokered by the U.N. in December.

Link to the source (Iran Interlink)

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago


Link to the full description of Mojahedin (MEK, MKO) Logo (pdf file)


(Izzat Ebrahim and Massoud Rajavi still at large)


(Washington backed Maryam Rajavi in terrorist cult’s HQ in Paris)

(Alejo Vidal-Quadras , Mojahedin Khalq logo, Struan stevenson )(Alejo Vidal-Quadras , Mojahedin Khalq logo, Struan stevenson )
(Alejo Vidal-Quadras , Mojahedin Khalq logo, Struan stevenson )

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees welcomes Albanian offer of humanitarian admission for 210 residents of Camp Hurriya, Iraq

.

… “I am very grateful that the Albanian Government has offered solutions for 210 people from Camp Hurriya,” said Mr Guterres. “The residents of Camp Hurriya urgently need solutions to relocate out of Iraq. We hope they welcome this offer and cooperate to ensure the departure of this important number of people.” The camp has seen a recent deterioration of the security situation of its residents, with a mortar attack on the camp on February 9th killing eight and wounding dozens with subsequent threats made against the residents.”This generous offer is an demonstration of international solidarity and burden sharing for a vulnerable population”, said Mr Guterres …

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago

UNHCR, Press Releases, March 18 2013
http://www.unhcr.org/5146f3839.html

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, today welcomed a generous offer by the Albanian Government of humanitarian admission for 210 residents from Camp Hurriya in Iraq to Albania.

“I am very grateful that the Albanian Government has offered solutions for 210 people from Camp Hurriya,” said Mr Guterres. “The residents of Camp Hurriya urgently need solutions to relocate out of Iraq. We hope they welcome this offer and cooperate to ensure the departure of this important number of people.”

The camp has seen a recent deterioration of the security situation of its residents, with a mortar attack on the camp on February 9th killing eight and wounding dozens with subsequent threats made against the residents.

“This generous offer is an demonstration of international solidarity and burden sharing for a vulnerable population”, said Mr Guterres. “I strongly encourage other countries to follow Albania’s lead and offer solutions for the camp residents that enable them to relocate outside of Iraq.”

Camp Hurriya, also known as Camp Liberty, has over 3000 residents.

For further information, please contact Sybella Wilkes on +41 22 739 7968

———–

Also
http://iran-interlink.org/?mod=view&id=14661

Germany Supports MKO Expulsion from Iraq

(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Rajavi cult)

.

… Germany’s Ambassador to Iraq Britta Wagner said her government supports expulsion of the member of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq. According to a report by Buratha news website, Wagner praised in a statement the performance of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) in monitoring transfer of the MKO members from Camp Ashraf, the terrorist group’s main training camp in Iraq, to the Camp Liberty, a transient settlement facility in Iraq. “I would like to express the full support of the German federal government to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) that …

The Life of Camp Ashraf, Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many MastersThe Life of Camp Ashraf,
Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters

Fars News Agency, Baghdad, February 24 2013
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9107146908

Link to the original report (Arabic)
http://www.burathanews.com/

Germany's Ambassador to Iraq Britta WagnerGermany’s Ambassador to Iraq Britta Wagner said her government supports expulsion of the member of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq.

According to a report by Buratha news website, Wagner praised in a statement the performance of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) in monitoring transfer of the MKO members from Camp Ashraf, the terrorist group’s main training camp in Iraq, to the Camp Liberty, a transient settlement facility in Iraq.

“I would like to express the full support of the German federal government to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) that has monitored the transfer of Camp Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty,” she said.

The MKO, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.

In September 2012, the last groups of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq’s Diyala province. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty which lies Northeast of the Baghdad International Airport.

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Also
http://iran-interlink.ca/?mod=view&id=14586

France supports transferring MKO members outside Iraq

(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Rajavi cult)

.

… France expressed support over transferring members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization outside Iraq, underlining its readiness to take part in coordination with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Fars news quoted French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Philippe Lalliot as saying that his country supports the UN plan to move the MKO to a third country. Head of an Iraqi human rights group had said that Iraq seeks to try in absentia the members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI) in Iraq. He said the people of Tuz Khurmato, who are victims …

Mujahedin Khalq Saddam Hussain Iraq Albani

Aswat al-Iraq, Baghdad, February 15 2013
http://en.aswataliraq.info/(S(zrtlyyinbulffa45atr44333))
/Default1.aspx?page=article_page&id=152419&l=1

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: France expressed support over transferring members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization outside Iraq, underlining its readiness to take part in coordination with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Iranian Fars news agency quoted French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Philippe Lalliot as saying that his country supports the UN plan to move the MKO to a third country.

Head of an Iraqi human rights group had said that Iraq seeks to try in absentia the members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI) in Iraq.

He said the people of Tuz Khurmato, who are victims of the MKO and the trial is going to be held in their city, expressed happiness and satisfaction over the issue.

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Also
http://iran-interlink.ca/?mod=view&id=14570

US rejects moving Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) back to old camp

.

… “The answer for the individuals at (Camp Liberty) is not to relocate back to Ashraf, in our view,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. “The only peaceful and durable solution for these individuals is resettlement outside Iraq, and that should continue to be the focus of everybody involved in this effort.” The residents were reluctantly and finally moved from Camp Ashraf last year, on Iraq’s insistence, as part of deal negotiated via the United Nations. They are now in the process of being resettled, and it is understood the United States and several European countries had agreed to take them in …

Terrorist MEK, disarmed after the fall of Saddam
(Terrorist MEK, disarmed after the fall of Saddam)

Agence France-Presse (AFP), February 14 2013
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/
130212/us-rejects-moving-iranian-exiles-back-old-camp

The United States rejected calls Tuesday for Iranian exiles housed in a camp near Baghdad that came under mortar and rocket attack to be sent back to live in their former base.

The death toll from Saturday’s assault on Camp Liberty, which houses about 3,000 members of the opposition People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, meanwhile rose to seven, the group said.

Iraqi authorities are now investigating who was behind the attack, but the MEK and its supporters have called for the group to be allowed to return to their old base dating back to the 1980s — Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border.

“The answer for the individuals at (Camp Liberty) is not to relocate back to Ashraf, in our view,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

“The only peaceful and durable solution for these individuals is resettlement outside Iraq, and that should continue to be the focus of everybody involved in this effort.”

The residents were reluctantly and finally moved from Camp Ashraf last year, on Iraq’s insistence, as part of deal negotiated via the United Nations.

They are now in the process of being resettled, and it is understood the United States and several European countries had agreed to take them in.

Nuland said the United States has still not made any decisions on whether to accept any of the residents.

“We are now in the process of evaluating some of the referrals that UNHCR has sent our way, and we’re strongly, as I said, encouraging others to do the same,” Nuland said.

The MEK was founded in the 1960s to oppose the shah of Iran, and took up arms against Iran’s clerical rulers after the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted the shah.

The group says it has now laid down its arms and is working to overthrow the Islamic regime in Tehran by peaceful means.

Britain struck the group off its terror list in June 2008, followed by the European Union in 2009 and the United States in September.

———-

Also
http://iran-interlink.ca/index.php?mod=view&id=12887

Ambassador Daniel Benjaminan and Ambassador Daniel Fried on Mojahedin Khalq Terrorist designation and Camp Ashraf

(aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)

.

… The MEK seems to have misinterpreted the June 1 order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. MEK leaders appear to believe that the Secretary has no choice now but to delist them. That conclusion is quite plainly wrong. In short, the court did not order the Secretary of State to revoke the MEK designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. As the Secretary has made clear, the MEK’s cooperation in the successful and peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf will be a key factor in her decision regarding the MEK’s FTO status. The court has told the State Department that it must act by October 1, but it did not mandate a particular result …


(Rajavi, Saddam and the Mojahedin Khalq logo)

U.S. Department of State, July 10 2012
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/07/194656.htm

Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Daniel Benjamin and Special Advisor to the Secretary on Camp Ashraf Ambassador Daniel Fried on the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Designation and the Current Situation at Camp Ashraf

Special Briefing
Office of the Spokesperson
Via Teleconference

July 6, 2012

MR. VENTRELL: Hey. Good afternoon, everybody, and thanks for joining us. Today, we’ve got an on-the-record conference call with Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and Ambassador Daniel Fried, our Special Advisor on Camp Ashraf.

And so we’re going to go ahead and start this on-the-record call. I believe Ambassador Benjamin will make some remarks at the top, and then we’ll turn it over to both of our speakers for questions. So let’s go ahead and start.

Ambassador Benjamin.

AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Yes. Thank you very much. I wanted to talk today a bit about the situation in Iraq, where there is an impasse between the Iraqi Government and the Mujahedin-e Khalq, the MEK, over the relocation of residents from the group’s paramilitary Camp Ashraf to the temporary transit facility at Camp Hurriya. The Iraqi Government and the United Nations continue to encourage the secure, humane relocation of residents to Hurriya for refugee status determinations by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Almost 2,000 individuals have already relocated, but the remaining 1,200 to 1,300 are holding at Ashraf until various MEK demands are met by the Iraqi Government. The last convoy of individuals, about 400 people, was on May 5th. And the patience of the Iraqi Government is wearing thin.

The MEK seems to have misinterpreted the June 1 order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. MEK leaders appear to believe that the Secretary has no choice now but to delist them. That conclusion is quite plainly wrong. In short, the court did not order the Secretary of State to revoke the MEK designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. As the Secretary has made clear, the MEK’s cooperation in the successful and peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf will be a key factor in her decision regarding the MEK’s FTO status. The court has told the State Department that it must act by October 1, but it did not mandate a particular result. I think that’s very important to underscore. The Secretary thus retains the discretion to either maintain or revoke the designation in accordance with the law. It is past time for the MEK to recognize that Ashraf is not going to remain an MEK base in Iraq. The Iraqi Government is committed to closing it, and any plan to wait out the government in the hope that something will change is irresponsible and dangerous.

The MEK is a group whose violent history against the United States includes the bombing of U.S. companies in Iran, the assassination of seven U.S. citizens, and the provision of support for the attack, occupation, and hostage-taking at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The MEK is also one of the few foreign groups to attempt an attack on U.S. soil when, in 1992, it launched near simultaneous attacks in 13 countries, including against the Iranian mission to the UN in New York. Even the MEK itself has admitted to continuing violent attacks until 2001.

With such a history, cooperating fully with the UN’s efforts in Iraq would be a tangible demonstration that the MEK has left its violent past behind and that it no longer retains the capability and intent to engage in acts of terrorism. This is the MEK’s moment to show that it has taken on a fundamentally different character. It should act quickly and complete the relocation and close Camp Ashraf.

And with that, I’ll be happy to take your questions.

MR. VENTRELL: Operator, if we can go ahead and get the first question.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Once again, if you would like to ask a question, please press *1 on your touchtone telephone. You will be prompted to record your name in order to be introduced. Once again, press * and 1. One moment.

Our first question comes from Bahman Kalbasi from BBC Persian. Your line is open.

QUESTION: Thank you. I have two questions for the ambassadors. You talked about tangible change in their behavior. If the criteria for removing them from the FTO is to not have the capability and the intent, how does changing the location from Ashraf, as the Secretary has indicated, gets them closer to that removal? U.S. Government has said to NBC, for instance, that as late as February, that they were involved with the assassination of scientists in Iran.

And my second question really is that if you end up removing them, mindful of the unprecedented lobbying that is going on, are you worried that this will politicize the FTO? It will show that at the end of the day, politics trumps everything else?

AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Let me take the second question first. The – any decision, one way or the other will be taken entirely on the merits, and we’re committed to doing it that way and no other way. And that’s our requirement under the law.

On the other point, I can assure you that I have never said that they were involved in current assassinations in Iran. That was a story that ran, and I have no information to confirm that, so I certainly wouldn’t have said it. What I have given you is the established record, and nothing more and nothing less.

QUESTION: But how does it – removing them from Ashraf change the issue of intent?

AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Right. Well, the history and the use of Ashraf is that of an MEK paramilitary base. It’s where the MEK had its heavy weaponry and from which it carried out a number of military operations during the reign of Saddam Hussein. The MEK’s relocation will assist the Secretary in determining whether the organization remains invested in its violent past or is committed to leaving that past behind. And that really is going to be a very important illustration – or demonstration, I should say – of what the MEK’s orientation in the future will be.

So I do want to say that it is an absolutely essential move and we hope that they will get – move forward with it.

MR. VENTRELL: Operator, can we get the next question?

OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Robert Burns – your line is open – from the Associated Press.

QUESTION: Yes, thank you. Regarding your encouragement for them to complete the relocation, if they don’t complete the move by October, is it the case that they won’t be de-listed?

AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: I’m not going to prejudge the Secretary’s action on this, but she has made it extremely clear how important this step is. And she is sticking by that and this is the message everyone involved needs to understand.

OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Mehrnoush Pourziaiee from BBC. Your line is open.

QUESTION: My question is regarding the dates that Iraqi Government has given, which is 20th of July for the closure of Camp Ashraf. And has there been any communication with U.S. Ambassador in Iraq and Iraqi Government on the Iraqi side plans in case the relocation is not complete by that time?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: This is Daniel Fried speaking. Our charge in Baghdad, Steve Beecroft, has been in contact with the Iraqi Government at senior levels on more than one occasion recently about the situation with respect to Camp Ashraf. Specific to your question, you are right that July 20th is a date set by the Iraqi Government by which they want Camp Ashraf to be emptied.

Now, in the past, the Iraqi Government has extended deadlines when there has been significant progress in moving people out of Camp Ashraf, and it is our hope – though only a hope – that if there is significant progress in the next two weeks, that deadline could be extended. However, that puts – that date should put everyone on notice and the MEK on notice that it needs to proceed with the next convoy of people out of Camp Ashraf. There have been five convoys. All have been successful; that is, they went from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya peacefully, without roadside bombs or attacks. And this process needs to resume.

QUESTION: And in the previous briefing, the officials of State Department mentioned that there has been no communication from MEK with UN officials or Iraqi Government, and they have stopped all the communication. Have you tried different channels to get this message to them, or what are you doing to make sure that they get the seriousness of this issue?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: Well, I’m happy to tell you that after a lot of work, communications have resumed. It took a frustratingly long period of time to arrange it. But Ambassador Kobler, the head of the UN Mission in Iraq, is back in contact with the MEK, has allowed this contact to resume. So these messages have been sent.

It is – we are all – that is, the U.S. Embassy – we at the State Department and the UN are all working hard to address as many legitimate concerns of the residents of Camp Hurriya and Camp Ashraf as we can in order that conditions be met for convoys to resume. And we do think that the Government of Iraq could and should do more to address these legitimate humanitarian concerns and show generosity to the residents. And there has been some progress in that regard. We hope that this progress – in fact, it’s imperative this progress be made swiftly and that the convoys of residents resume.

QUESTION: And Ambassador Fried, I have a question regarding Camp Ashraf itself. We have various accounts of people who have been a member of MEK before talking about the horrible situation in the organization and relations which is in Camp Ashraf and the relation between the members and how the human conditions of the Camp and the situation they live in because of the setup from the MEK. Can you elaborate on living condition in Camp Ashraf a little and tell us if all these stories are true or there’s no truth into them?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: Well, I am familiar, as you are, with all sorts of stories about life in Camp Ashraf. I can’t confirm or deny any of them. We just don’t know, but I’m familiar with them. Our purpose is humanitarian, however. Our purpose is neither to advance the interests of the organization – hardly – nor is it to fight the organization. Our interest is in saving the lives of the people that are there as individuals and helping them find – helping them get out of Ashraf safely to Camp Hurriya, and then out of Camp Hurriya to a life outside of Iraq. That is our purpose; it is humanitarian.

QUESTION: And The Washington Post report yesterday about the meeting between MEK advocates with senior Administration officials, can anyone elaborate on this and tell us if this is true and where and with whom the meetings has taken place and what is the nature of them?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: Well, I can certainly confirm that we have responded to inquiries and communicated with all kinds of private parties, including former U.S. Government officials, members of the European parliaments, and other advocates. We have made clear in all of these communications that the only viable option to resolving the issue of Camp Ashraf is a peaceful solution. We have offered our perspective on what is necessary for that to be achieved, and we offer that perspective knowing full well that these persons had a preexisting dialogue with the MEK, and we believe that they have conveyed our views to their MEK interlocutors. Now, they’re not representing the U.S. Government as they do so, but we believe they have passed these messages back. So I’m certainly not going to deny the fact of these contacts. I’m not going to get into the details either.

OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Jill Dougherty from CNN. Your line is open.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. I just wanted to find out, legally, what can the Iraqi Government do if that date of July 20th comes? Can they physically remove the people? What legally are they entitled to do?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: Well – this is Dan Fried. I’m not a lawyer at all, much less an expert on Iraqi law. As I understand it, the Iraqi Government views them as in Iraq illegally. That’s their official position. They do not regard the invitation extended by Saddam Hussein to the MEK as valid, especially given the history of the MEK in Iraq. That said, the Iraqi Government has confirmed repeatedly and publicly that it also seeks a peaceful, humane solution to this problem. They have confirmed that bilaterally to us. We welcome this confirmation, and we intend to work with the Iraqi Government so that only a peaceful solution is followed.

QUESTION: So then I’m presuming that that is the – if you are giving any advice to the government or advising them in any way, that that is what you’re saying, it has to be peaceful?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: Absolutely right. That has been our message front and center. We have worked with the Iraqi Government. Given Iraqi conditions, I’m more impressed by the progress that has been made than concerned by the problems that remain. This is Iraq. Things often do not go well in Iraq. Given that spectrum, we’re doing all right so far, but the situation remains precarious, and it is up to everyone to work to see that Camp Ashraf is emptied soon and peacefully.

QUESTION: Thank you.

OPERATOR: Our question will come from Jonathan Broder, Congressional Quarterly. Your line is open.

QUESTION: Yes, I’d just like to ask: Why is this Administration so concerned about humanitarian issues involving a terrorist group?

AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: We’re interested in humanitarian issues full-stop. And I think it’s important to underscore that many of the people in this camp are not likely to have participated directly in terrorist attacks, although we don’t know on a case-by-case basis. And in any case, we would seek to protect any such group that was essentially holed up in a camp if they were threatened with violence. So this is in keeping with our values.

I should also underscore that we also are interested in whether or not any particular group is involved in terrorist activities, whether it’s directly aimed at us or at others. This is – these are the lights we steer by. So I don’t see any problem with that.

I would like to go back to the issue that was asked before regarding lobbying, and I do just want to underscore that when it comes to the designation itself, we have not met with any lobbyists or others. There was, in fact, one gentleman who came into my office under false pretenses from a foreign country to lobby for the MEK, and he was promptly thrown out. But other than that, I’ve had no conversations on this issue. And again, to underscore, we’re just looking at the merits of the particular case.

MR. VENTRELL: Operator, we’ve got time for just one more question.

OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Christina Wilkie from Huffington Post. Your line is open.

QUESTION: Could you please give us a better sense of the types of demands that the MEK is making of the Iraqi Government and the stipulations the Iraqi Government is placing? Are they – are the MEK’s demands generally realistic? Is it your position that they’re actually intended – that they – that they’re realistic to get, or are they – do you think this is being set up so that there’s an inevitable conflict?

AMBASSADOR FRIED: That’s a very good question, and I’ve asked myself that as well. Some of the MEK demands are reasonable. For example, given the hot weather in Iraq, they’ve requested more air conditioners. The Iraqi Government has agreed to provide them, that is agreed to allow a special shipment of air conditioners from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty, and this is being arranged as we speak. Some of the other demands strike me as not central – for instance, private cars. Well, that’s not an issue critical to basic humanitarian needs.

You’ve asked a question about the MEK’s intentions. I can’t answer that with full knowledge. They, of course, say that all they want are their basic humanitarian needs to be met. But it has been frustrating to deal with constantly shifting demands, many demands. We find that U.S. Embassy and State Department and the UN will work to resolve problems and, a la whack-a-mole, you find that new ones – you’re constantly presented with new ones. But hopefully, the next couple of weeks – in fact, it’s critical that the next couple of weeks will be a period in which some of these issues are resolved, enough so the MEK will allow convoys to resume. That’s absolutely critical.

MR. VENTRELL: Okay. Thank you all for joining today’s call. Any other last remarks from either of the ambassadors?

AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Yes. Again – Daniel Benjamin here – I really just wanted to emphasize again one point that I made at the outset. The Secretary of State can – is within her rights in either listing – re-listing or de-listing. And that really is the bottom line here, and no one should be unclear about that in any way. And that’s really all I have to say.

MR. VENTRELL: All right. Thank you all. Have a good afternoon.

Link to the source (Iran Interlink)

MEK Deported From Iraq To Albania 4 Years Ago 

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