UPI: The European Parliament vice president called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure the continued U.S. protection of Iranian dissidents in Iraq.
United Press International
BRUSSELS, Dec. 11 (UPI) — The European Parliament vice president called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure the continued U.S. protection of Iranian dissidents in Iraq.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca expressed concern that the transfer of security for members of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, holed up in their Iraqi enclave of Camp Ashraf, from U.S. to Iraqi security forces would put the 3,500 residents there in jeopardy.
Roca led a delegation of European lawmakers to Camp Ashraf in October to survey the situation facing the residents there.
"We are convinced that in the present circumstances the transfer of protection of Ashraf to (the) Iraqi government will places its residents in serious danger leading to a humanitarian catastrophe," the Spanish leader said.
Meanwhile, officials with the International Committee of the Red Cross made their first-ever visit to Ashraf to examine the status of Iranians living in the enclave 50 miles north of Baghdad.
"The ICRC has been raising the issue with the authorities concerned to make them aware of the situation and of their responsibilities towards the people in Ashraf," said Juan-Pedro Schaerer, the head of the ICRC delegation in Iraq.
The PMOI and its political arm, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, seek to replace the current clerical regime in Iran. The PMOI is considered a terrorist organization by several nations, though many European states are reversing their stance.