Top U.N. official in Iraq ‘misled’ world on camp for Iranians

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The Clinton administration placed the MeK on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations in 1997 as it was attempting to open negotiations with Iran. The Obama administration has linked the dissidents’ cooperation in the relocation to taking it off the blacklist.

A U.S. appeals court in June ordered Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to decide within four months whether to remove the MeK from the terrorist list.

Britain and the European Union took the MeK off their lists in 2008 and 2009, respectively. But the group’s presence on the U.S. list has deterred other nations from taking in the Iranian dissidents.

“The [terrorist listing] is not helping the U.N. progress in monitoring or protecting the fundamental rights of this community,” Mr. Boumedra said. “Keeping them on the [list] will embolden the government of Iraq and encourages what is going on.”

Mr. Kotler, the U.N. spokesman, said that under the agreement with the Iraqi government, the dissidents will not be repatriated forcibly to Iran or to any other country.

However, U.S. and U.N. officials remain worried about the prospect of a crackdown on the dissidents by Iraqi authorities. On July 31, Iraq’s national security adviser, Falih Al-Fayadh, threatened to forcibly shut down Camp Ashraf.

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About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.

Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.


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