August 20, 2017

Martin Kobler and Iraq plot to foil Camp Liberty residents’ return to Ashraf

In collusion with Kobler, Iraqi government plots to foil Liberty residents’ return to Ashraf, the only practical solution for their security

• The Iraqi government’s national security advisor, at the behest of the Iranian regime with the consent of Martin Kobler, has asked a judge in the city of Khalis, to order the evacuation of Camp Ashraf and the arrest of 82 residents in the absence of judicial proceedings and without even a hearing for the asylum seekers in Ashraf

• The unlawful decision, which is in blatant breach of international laws and recognized rights of asylum seekers and persons of concern, states: Ashraf residents have no recourse for either accepting or rejecting the decision

• The Iranian Resistance calls the attention of U.S. Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General to the imperative of implementing the trilateral obligations of the US, the UN and the Iraqi government with respect to the custodians of property in Ashraf, and to the security and safety of the residents of camps Ashraf and Liberty, and urges an end to the unlawful measures adopted by Kobler and the government of Iraq

NCRI – The Iranian Resistance has obtained documents from inside the Iranian regime, which illustrate that in an attempt to please the Iranian regime’s intelligence minister, the Iraqi government’s national security advisor, with the acquiescence of UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Iraq, Martin Kobler, has ordered a judge in the city of Khalis to issue a ruling that calls for the evacuation of Camp Ashraf and the arrest 82 residents on charges of residing in Iraq illegally. The ruling was issued without any judicial proceedings and did not even involve hearing the arguments of the asylum seekers residing in Camp Ashraf. On May 6, the said judge issued an order for “transferring Ashraf residents to Liberty at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The ruling, which is in clear breach of international laws and the recognized rights of asylum seekers and people of concern, states, “Ashraf residents shall have no recourse to either accept or reject the decision.”

On May 8, the Iranian Resistance revealed an impending visit to Iraq by Abolfazl Zohrehvand, an advisor to the mullahs’ National Security Council Secretary, and informed U.S. and UN officials about his visit, which was aimed at inflicting harm on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) on the brink of the mullahs’ presidential elections. Zohrehvand, formerly mullahs’ Ambassador to Italy, who currently serves as the Ambassador to Afghanistan, is one of the mullahs’ specialists on terrorism and a plotter of terrorist activities for the regime, Zohrehvand accompanied the mullahs’ intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, during a visit to Iraq in April. In the course of the visit, Moslehi said, “Among the special topics of discussion during the trip to Iraq is the serious follow up of the expulsion of the PMOI from Iraq. … In fact, their fate must be determined as soon as possible” (NCRI Statement, April 2: warning to the UN and the U.S. about another massacre of Ashraf and Liberty residents).

The available evidence and documents reveal that the blood-stained scenario of judicial action has been coordinated with Martin Kobler in advance. In a series of letters to the residents of Ashraf and Liberty, Kobler repeatedly made threats about a judicial order. This was consistently exposed in statements issued by the Iranian Resistance.

In his April 27, 2013, letter, Kobler wrote, “Time is running out and the eviction decision of the court is expected soon. The government of Iraq asked us to convey to you that they expect you to relocate to camp liberty immediately.”

In a letter sent on May 11, 2013, he also said, “The government is in possession of an eviction order issued by a court. The Ashraf committee will meet on Sunday May 12th to discuss further steps.” In this letter, Kobler shows that he has trampled upon the rights of asylum seekers and people of concern in accordance with numerous UNHCR statements; that he deliberately overlooks previous agreements with the U.S. State Department regarding the remaining of 100 property custodians in Ashraf until the final sale of assets; and that he has forgotten about the memorandum of understanding that he had signed – without the knowledge of the residents – with the Iraqi government’s security advisor on December 25, 2011 with respect to voluntary relocation; and as the same time he holds the victims responsible for any future bloodbaths, and shamelessly adds in his May 11 letter that, “We informed you regularly that the government wants to get a court eviction order … The responsibility is yours.”

This is nothing but a mutual criminal effort and a decision to deliberately trade the lives of refugees and Iranian opposition members to the mullahs’ regime, which is ensnared in the events leading up to its presidential elections.

The Iranian Resistance directs the attention of the U.S. Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General to the imperative of implementing the trilateral obligations of the U.S., UN and the Iraqi government with respect to the custodians of property in Ashraf as well as to the safety of Ashraf and Liberty residents, and urges an end to the unlawful measures adopted by Kobler and Baghdad.

Background:

1. “Keeping an agreed number [finally 100 persons] of residents at Ashraf to oversee the sale of the residents’ possessions” was a part of an agreement dated August 16, 2012 with the U.S. State Department for the relocation of about 1,300 persons from Ashraf to Liberty.

2. The August 16, 2012 agreement with the U.S. State Department underscores U.S. obligations “to support safety and security of the residents until the last of the residents leaves Iraq.”

3. In his September 6, 2012, letter with respect to the “residual group” in Ashraf, Martin Kobler wrote, “If the issue of property is not solved till end of September then a group of only 100 residents would remain in CNI [Ashraf] as guardians of the property….The GOI should provide protection for the property and remaining residents in CNI and their until the issue of property is resettled completely.”

4. In a letter dated September 6, 2012, Ambassador Daniel Fried, the U.S. State Department’s Special Advisor on Ashraf, wrote to the legal representative of the residents, Senator Robert Torricelli, that, “100 residual group without time limit remains as guardian of the property. GOI also must provide protection for property.”

5. In October, while Ambassador Fried was in Brussels and was “asked whether there was a deadline for the last group of 100 to leave, he said there was ‘no time limit'” (EU business, October 3, 2012).

6. The residents signed contracts to sell all their moveable and immovable possessions first with an Iraqi company in April 2012 and later with a British company in September 2012. However, the government of Iraq refused to allow the execution of either contract. Subsequently, the residents agreed with a recommendation by UNAMI, on November 24, 2012, to transfer the responsibility of resolving the issue of belongings to an American personality, and the residents introduced Senator Torricelli as their legal representative.

7. After spending an enormous amount of effort and time, Senator Torricelli and Professor Steven Schneebaum, made a costly trip to Iraq on January 1, 2013. In his report about the trip, Senator Torricelli wrote, “The trip turned out rather differently from what had been expected. No Iraqi Government agent would meet with us, and we were denied permission to visit Camp Ashraf or Camp Liberty.”

Senator Torricelli also elaborated on the Iraqi government’s stonewalling of efforts to resolve the issue of property and highlighted UNAMI’s collaboration with the government, saying, “UNAMI has concluded that the future development of Iraq is dependent upon the survival of the current government of Nouri Al-Maliki. Shoring up Maliki, and protecting him from any potentially avoidable disruption, seem to UNAMI to be the only alternative to watching Iraq descend into civil war along ethnic (Arab/Kurd) and sectarian (Sunni/Shiite) lines. Sadly, this pessimistic prediction of the future of the country may well be accurate. Contrary to UNAMI’s analysis, many observers consider Maliki to be the problem, not the solution…. In our view, much of the attitude of UNAMI toward the MEK file can be explained in light of this premise. We were explicitly told, for example, that the Maliki Government would literally not survive a decision to pay the MEK for its immovable property.”

8. Subsequently, the Iraqi government asked that the responsibility to resolve the property issue be transferred to Iraqi lawyers. As such, it sought to pressure Iraqi lawyers and deprive the residents of ownership of their property, in accordance with the demands of the clerical regime in Iran. This move was also supported by Kobler. Senator Torricelli told UNAMI during his trip and later in his letters on January 7 and January 13 to Kobler and his deputy, that he would introduce Iraqi lawyers hired by him on three conditions, which were summarized as follows: the security of these Iraqi lawyers must be ensured; all agreements must result from negotiations and decisions reached between Senator Torricelli and the Iraqi government; and, lastly, negotiations must include all moveable and immovable property.

The Iraqi government and Kobler never accepted these three conditions. Senator Torricelli urged Kobler on numerous occasions to accept the conditions in writing, but Kobler refused. This was while he could easily sign the proposed draft sent by the Senator, obtain the confirmation of Iraqi officials, and send the proposal back, thereby gaining the trust of both the Senator and the residents.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran – Paris
May 15, 2013