In a letter that was sent to Members of the European Parliament on 15 November 2011, the Iraqi government has put forward fallacious excuses for a planned mass murder of UN recognised “asylum seekers” at Camp Ashraf, Iraq.

The lengthy document is full of false accusations and claims and shows the ominous intentions of the Iraqi government for another deadly attack against Camp Ashraf. We are well aware that the Iraqi government which is doing Tehran’s bidding can not be trusted at all. The Iraqi forces under the command of Nouri al-Maliki have already massacred 47 residents and seriously injured over a 1000 more in previous hideous assaults on the camp. In addition to these crimes, the unlawful 3 year siege of the camp has denied sick and injured of Ashraf medical treatment resulting in many painful deaths.

Clearly, the Iraqi Prime Minister, intent on serving his masters in Tehran, is resorting to lies and ridiculous accusations that the Iranian regime’s intelligence services have been distributing for decades against members of the Iranian opposition PMOI in order to justify a planned massacre at Ashraf at the end of this year. The 10 point document clearly shows that this policy is dictated by the Iranian regime. It explicitly states that “the existence of this Organization ... raises problems with Iran.” In another part of the document it is stated “The presence of this Organization in Iraq threatens... the security of neighboring countries” [Iran]. Article 10 of the document states, “Iraq ... wants to build peaceful relations with the neighboring countries [Iran]...stressing that the undermining Iraq’s sovereignty and security cannot be tolerated”; a clear threat of resorting to violence against the unarmed residents of Camp Ashraf.

The document deliberately ignores the extensive efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the European Union, and others who have been working to reach a peaceful resolution to the Ashraf issue involving the resettlement of its residents in third countries. These efforts have been repeatedly blocked by the Iraqi Government.

The UNHCR, European Parliament, US Congress, Amnesty International and other international bodies have repeatedly demanded that the unworkable deadline for closure of Ashraf by the end of 2011 should be set aside so that the refugee status of its residents could be affirmed by the UNHCR, enabling their safe transfer to third countries. In a document dated 13 September 2011, the UNHCR has confirmed the status of Ashraf residents as “asylum seekers” and their rights under international law have been conveyed to Iraqi authorities. Maliki’s insistence on ignoring these international rights has been correctly described as “succumbing to foreign pressure” by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Saleh Mutlak.

We therefore call on the international community, in particular the US, EU, UN, as well as the UK Government, to rally all their efforts to prevent another bloodbath and a repeat of a Srebrenica-like massacre in Ashraf. They must force the Iraqi government to postpone its deadline until the completion of UNHCR work in determining the refugee status of all residents of Ashraf.

We also call on the EU and its High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, to condemn the Iraqi deadline and any forcible relocation of Ashraf residents inside Iraq. If Ashraf residents are dispersed in Iraq in small groups the Iraqi forces and the Iranian Qods Force will have a free hand to torture and kill them outside the watchful eyes of the world community.

The EU is investing a lot in rebuilding Iraq. The Iraqi government’s humane treatment of Ashraf residents should be a criterion for availability of such funds.

We also call on EU member states to facilitate the resettlement of Ashraf residents, particularly the ill and wounded, in European countries.

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

19 November 2011