(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Iran of launching a deadly attack last February on its own people who were seeking refuge in Iraq because of opposition to their country’s policies.
Testifying before the House Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Kerry told lawmakers that Iran was behind a rocket and mortar assault on an exiled Iranian dissident group, the MEK, at the former U.S. military base Camp Liberty.
Seven people were killed in the attack and Kerry said that he complained to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during a recent visit that not enough is being done to protect the 3,000 MEK members remaining at the facility.
Kerry said that attempts at resettling the residents have been arduous, telling House committee members, “We have contacted countless countries; we have been refused by countless countries.”
The MEK was actually formed when the Shah of Iran ruled the country until 1979. The dissidents later turned against the clerical leaders of Iran but are now dedicated to overthrowing them by peaceful means.