Iran General NewsA vital step in countering the Iran regime’s malign...

A vital step in countering the Iran regime’s malign influence in the region

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Iran Focus

London, 21 Sep – There appears to be a change in the way the Iranian Regime and their opposition, the Iranian Resistance are seen in the wider world, according to an article published on Townhall

The article, which was co-authored by Raymond Tanter and Col. (Ret.) Wes Martin, Former Antiterrorism/Force Protection for Coalition Forces–Iraq, states that “the tide has turned”.

They cite a speech by Secretary of State John Kerry on the safe removal of Iranian dissidents of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) group from Camp Liberty to Albania.

They report that Kerry used “unusually favorable language” when speaking of the MEK, given the US’s previously designation of the MEK as terrorists and the US’s 2015 Nuclear Deal with the Iranian Regime.

Tanter and Martin wrote: “Backing up the Secretary are tireless efforts of UN envoys, American diplomats, and former officials to give meaning to the UN doctrine of Responsibility to Protect.”

In the piece, they note that while nation states must protect civilians in its territory, whether they are their own citizens or foreign nationals; the international community should assist.

Iraq previously held Iranian dissidents in “prison-like custody”, even though they’d committed no crimes; the refugees were attacked by Iraqi forces (under the guidance of the Iranian regime) in 2009, 2011, and 2013.

The dissidents were awarded protection by the US military in 2004, under the Geneva Convention but when American forces began withdrawing in 2009, the protection of dissidents was passed back to Iraq, with supervision from Washington and the UN. Again, attacks were still levied on the camps by Iran and their subsidiaries until the UN arranged safe transportation for the refugees to Albania this month.

Then they spoke of the bipartisan group who worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of the refugees including State Department Special Envoy Jonathan Winer, former New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Ed Royce, Senate Armed Services Committee chair, John McCain and senators Robert Menendez, Jeanne Shaheen, Roy Blunt and Eliot Engel.

McCain said in a statement: “The safe resettlement of these Iranian dissidents is a vital step in countering the Iranian regime’s malign influence in the region, and it serves as an important reminder to our allies and adversaries that the United States stands by its commitments.”

Royce and Engel made a joint statement, which read: “The safety and security of the residents has always been our primary concern, and they have now been effectively placed beyond the immediate reach of Iran and its terrorist proxies operating in Iraq. While the completion of this resettlement is good news, we know that attacks on Camp Liberty as well as Camp Ashraf cost far too many lives.”

Last month, 36 former U.S. national security officials sent an open letter to President Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

They warned that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) would attack Iranian dissidents. The MOIS had opposed to the resettlement outside of Iraq for residents of Camp Liberty.

The pressure forced Baghdad to allow the last dissidents to leave in safety and the remaining residents departed Sep. 9, 2016, but this is not the only problem that the dissidents face.

Tanter and Martin finished their article by stating: “The good news: They are safe; the bad news: Although the tide has turned, resettlement requires resources to make up for hundreds of millions of dollars of their material assets denied to them when departing Iraq.”

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