February 22, 2018

Iranians at risk, warn MEPs

More than 200 MEPs sign petition to Catherine Ashton over fate of demobilised anti-regime fighters from Iran stranded in Iraq.

A group of more than 200 members of the European Parliament from across the political spectrum has warned that demobilised Iranian fighters stranded in Iraq are at risk of violence from Iraqi security forces.

The warning came in a petition to Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, presented in the European Parliament in Brussels today (27 March).

The MEPs called for some 3,100 demobilised fighters from the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) to be moved from Camp Liberty, in Iraq, to security in Europe or the United States.

As a second-best option, the MEPs said, the fighters should be moved as a group back to Camp Ashraf, their base for 26 years.

The former fighters feel vulnerable to retaliation from Iraqi security forces in their current location. Iraq’s Shia-controlled government is a close ally of Iran, and the PMOI was for years under the protection of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Sunni dictator.

The MEPs’ call was supported by several former officials from the United Nations, which is in charge of the resettlement process, and from the United States.