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Maryam Rajavi writes to U.S. President on protection of Ashraf residents in Iraq

National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 15, 2009

Following new restrictions imposed on Ashraf residents; Mrs. Rajavi writes to the U.S. President to underscore the responsibilities of the U.S. forces with respect to protection of Ashraf residents

NCRI - Following the new inhuman restrictions imposed on the residents of Camp Ashraf (in Iraq's Diyala Province), who are members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of Iranian Resistance in letter addressed to the U.S. President described the move as a conspiracy by the religious dictatorship. She said that remarks by the Iranian regime's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during his February 28 meeting with the President of Iraq triggered the restrictions. 

Khamenei reminded the Iraqi President in a demanding voice that "…the bilateral agreement regarding the expulsion of the PMOI from Iraq must be implemented… and we are awaiting its implementation." 

Subsequently, in the first week of March, former President and the head of the Assembly of Experts, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on a visit to Iraq, demanded that the PMOI be expelled from Iraq and Camp Ashraf be closed down.
Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that measures adopted by the Iraqi forces would amount to a human catastrophe. She said that the responsibility of protecting Ashraf residents lies with the U.S. forces.

Mrs. Rajavi reiterated that the protection for the residents of Ashraf arises from the international obligations of the United States and is based on the agreement between the residents of Ashraf and the U.S. and said that in view of the deteriorating treatment of Ashraf residents by Iraqi forces, requested that the protection of Ashraf be reinstated to that which was in place before January 2009, i.e., the U.S. forces be tasked with the protection of Ashraf.
In an unprecedented move, on March 13, Iraqi forces surrounded one of Ashraf's buildings and used force and bullying tactics in an attempt to evacuate hundreds of residents of the building, mostly women. The soldiers said Iraqi National Security Advisor Mouwaffaq Al-Rubaie had ordered that Iraqi forces occupy the building, a major section of which is a women's dormitory. The facility, built in its entirety with the financial and human resources of the residents of Ashraf, remains surrounded.

In addition, since March 12, Iraqi forces have prevented any commodity or even fuel from entering Ashraf and turned back trucks carrying logistics. Mr. Al-Rubaie had ordered that nothing but food items be allowed to enter Ashraf. Moreover, 150 Iraqi workers, six persons who procured Ashraf logistical needs and seven trucks carrying commodities have been barred from entering Ashraf. The workers have been working in Ashraf for many years.

The ban on families visiting their relatives in Ashraf remains in force and they are facing serious restrictions in meeting their loved ones even outside the Camp. Iraqi forces only allow the residents to meet their immediate relatives for a brief period of time. The families' identity cards, telephones and other personal belongings are seized until their departure.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

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