- Malaysia Airlines pilots sometimes left cockpit door unlocked: U.S. businessman
- PHILLIPS: The benefits of defying ‘common wisdom’
- Judge strikes down Arkansas abortion law — nation’s toughest — as unconstitutional
- Court: Tenn. must recognize 3 same-sex marriages
- Russia claims to have downed U.S. drone over Crimea region; Pentagon denies
- John Daly shoots 90 at PGA Tour event: ‘I’m falling apart’
- Police: Man arrested in West Virginia may be linked to Alexandria killings
- Smile: Equipping cops with body-mounted cameras gains steam in Calif., N.Y.
- Obama to sign bill cutting taxpayer money for party conventions
- Half of Americans worried about second Cold War: poll
A bipartisan group of House members Wednesday criticized Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for failing to demand protection for Iranian dissidents attacked last week by Iraqi security forces in apparent violation of promises to U.S. authorities.
Twenty-one Democrats and 11 Republicans noted that the United States designated the 3,000 to 4,000 Iranians in Iraq’s Camp Ashraf as “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention and that the Iraqi government guaranteed that status when U.S. forces turned over control of the site.
A State Department spokesman last week promised that U.S. authorities would monitor the situation to ensure that the Iranians “are treated in accordance with Iraq’s written assurances that it will treat the residents humanely.”
“Madam secretary, this response is clearly inadequate,” the House members said in their letter.
They added that they fear Iraq might try to deport the Iranians to Iran, where they would face prosecution and possible execution for their past attacks against the theocratic regime.
“A community of protected persons has been set upon by security forces of the state to which we relinquished their protection. We believe there is cause to fear the forced expulsion of the Ashraf residents by Iraqi forces,” the lawmakers said.
They called on Mrs. Clinton to direct the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, to demand that Iraq comply “with international law and with the assurances Iraq gave the U.S. regarding Ashraf residents.”
The Iranians in Camp Ashraf are members of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, the formerly armed wing of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which the U.S. listed as a terrorist organization when the Clinton administration was trying to improve relations with Iran in the 1990s. U.S. forces disarmed the rebel army after overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The George W. Bush administration, after lengthy internal debate, decided to leave the Iranian resistance on the terrorist list. The European Union removed the resistance from its terrorist list last year.
The signatories to the House letter included eight members of the Foreign Affairs Committee - Democrats Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Brad Sherman of California and Diane Watson of California; and Republicans John Boozman of Arkansas, Bob Inglis of South Carolina, Ted Poe of Texas and Dana Rohrabacher of California.
They also include two committee chairmen - Carolyn B. Maloney, New York Democrat and chairman of the House-Senate Joint Economic Committee, and Edolphus Towns, New York Democrat and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Relations Committee.
The Senate this week closed the curtains on a diplomatic melodrama by confirming a new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and ending months of frustration by the Obama administration, which floated several possible nominees that the Holy See privately rejected because of their abortion views.
The Senate confirmed Miguel Diaz, a professor of theology at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. The Cuba-born, pro-life Democrat actively supported President Obama, whose pro-abortion views anger many mainline Catholics.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
- CURL: We completely overhauled American health care to insure 4.2 million people?
- California gun store owner refuses to hand over customer list
- Bill Maher: God a 'psychotic mass murderer' who 'drowns babies'
- Firefighters discover church's Bible in Harlem rubble following gas explosion
- Crimea votes in favor of secession, U.S. rejects
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- Trust me: Obama promises new overtime rules will be 'easier for everyone'
- McCaul offers scenario where missing Malaysian jet lands in hostile country to be use as missile
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014