Iranian American Society of Texas: Senior Bi-Partisan Panel Urges Recognition of Iranian opposition, calls for protection of dissidents through transfer to Camp Ashraf

HOUSTON, Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a conference entitled, "Iran: Prospects for Democratic Change, U.S. Policy Options," a distinguished panel of bi-partisan former U.S. officials spoke to the need for a new course in dealing with the nuclear and terrorist threats posed by the Iranian regime, namely reaching out to Iran's organized opposition movement and protecting its members who are currently in Iraq.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani was joined by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg and Col. Wes Martin (Ret.), chief protection officer for all of the Coalition Forces in Iraq and commandant of Camp Ashraf, Iraq, home to over 3,000 members of the main Iranian dissident movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

While rejecting the current policy of negotiating with the rulers of Tehran and underlining the futility of sanctions in changing the regime's behavior, Mayor Giuliani stressed the need to embrace the Iranian resistance. "They are our only hope that within our generation we can see an Iran that lives up to the wonderful Persian culture and lives up the incredible accomplishments that these people have had. These are enormously talented, cultured, civilized and educated people," he said.

In referring to the February 9th rocket attack at Camp Liberty, which killed seven residents, including a woman, and wounded 100, Mayor Giuliani added, "The Iraqi government knows there are going to be more attacks [on Camp Liberty] and before there are more attacks… at least they should be immediately moved to Camp Ashraf where they can do a better job of taking care of themselves." He urged the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to immediately declare the residents of Camps Liberty and Ashraf as refugees.

Recalling the promises given by the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to Iraq Martin Kobler, Mayor Giuliani said, "Because he has proven himself to be a professional liar… if the UN wants to do the right thing he should be removed immediately.  He is doing the dirty work of the Iraqi and Iranian governments …"

Attorney General Mukasey noted, "Unfortunately, the moral responsibility lies with the United Nations and with our own government as well… And of course the attack itself could not have occurred without active Iraqi cooperation, [because] the commander of the forces that were supposed to provide security at Camp Liberty was the commander of the forces that last time attacked the MEK in Camp Ashraf and murdered more than 20 people."

Ambassador Marc Ginsberg quoted from the statement by members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee following their meeting with the Iranian Resistance's President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi in Paris. The statement added, among other things, "The U.S. Government, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees should give top priority to resolving the security situation of the residents of Camp Liberty—which can be ensured by their return to Camp Ashraf—before conducting any further interviews with the residents."

Col. Martin also blamed the Iraqi government for facilitating the attack on Liberty. "This last rocket attack proved it is an extermination camp waiting to happen… The only nation able to do this attack, the only organization able to do this attack in that region is the Iranian Quds force, backed by the Maliki military. That precision, putting those rockets into that Camp, wasn't an adjustment of fire; it took a professional military organization, he said.

SOURCE Iranian American Society of Texas




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