What Will Happen to Iranian Refugees in Iraq?

iranian president in exile

President in exile Madame Rajavi, Rudy Giuliani, and Robert Toricelli.

While most in the US and around the globe cheer the imminent departure of US troops from Iraq, there are 3,400 men, women and children, Iranian refugees inside Iraq Camp Ashraf, wondering if they are only 68-days from extinction? While late headlines from CNN Sunday night said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran to keep its hands off Iraq, there is little likelihood that rogue nation state will heed her warning.

Located 60 kilometers northwest of Baghdad and about the same distance from the Iranian border to the west, Camp Ashraf is a constant target of harassment and bloody attacks from Iraqi troops and Iranian secret police. Earlier this spring a coordinated Iraqi police and Iranian Qod led attack left 36 refugees dead and more than 350 injured. Massive loudspeakers blare pro-Iranian government slogans night and day into the camp and residents are denied medical care. Around the world Ashraf refugees receive speeches of support from UK and EU parliamentary humanitarian committees, yet no one seems able to take responsibility for solving the humanitarian crisis which could now aptly be called a pending genocide.


Tuesday morning in the UK’s Parliament there will be yet another cross-parliamentary Committee meeting to study what to do in light of what the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) call credible threats of another planned assault on Camp Ashraf. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has ordered the camp closed by 31 December in violation of international law. President in exile Madame Rajavi has said any bloodshed caused or witnessed by the Al Maliki government is the direct responsibility of the US and UN. Both parties (and, more importantly, their mainstream media) barely cover this story… on page A27, below the fold.

Everybody continues talking past each other, there is a growing sense of hopelessness and the clock continues to tick on a story most journalists are afraid to cover because the US still considers NCRI (their Arabic name is the PMOI) a terrorist organization. This designation is a holdover from the 1990s despite universal agreement it was spurious from the beginning. It was designed by the Clinton Administration as a red herring condemnation trade-off with which to normalise relations with Iran who had, in theory, elected a moderate leader. Of course that is also when they began their secret nuclear program. So the ‘terrorist’ designation, since renounced by the UK and EU, has been used as a cover to ignore the crisis and blame anyone who speaks out in their favor as “soft on terrorism.”


ashraf attackedDespite support for Madame Rajavi and NCRI from (noun, verb and 9/11) former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former head of US Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island and dozens of other world, Congressional and Parliamentary leaders, the crisis continues. The world though continues to obsess on the death of Qadaffi, the Eurozone financial crises talks, cross-governmental spats between England and France and whether or not the troubled movie actress Lindsay Lohan shows up Monday for her court-ordered community service.

It’s time for people to move yet the landscape is filled with obstacles:

  • Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki is clearly in bed with NCRI’s Iranian government tormentors (the price of a very shaky internal peace between Sunni and Shia Muslims).
  • Iraq does not want the responsibility or cost of maintaining the 25-year old camp.
  • The Iranian regime wants this opposition group of former fighters eliminated.
  • The UN continues to drag its feet when peacekeepers should already be on the ground dismantling loudspeakers and protecting the camp, instead they hope someone else will take care of the issue.
  • The US government sees their military exit as the Iraqi government’s issue thus closing the book on the issue.
  • The EU and UK Parliaments have held meetings but while quick to militarily stop Qadaffi from slaughtering 70,000 people in Benghazi; will not likely do anything other than issue proclamations to help the people of Camp Ashraf.

denis campbell

We’re not talking Eagle Scouts on any side of this discussion. Everyone has their horse in this race but there is one agenda missing from the discussion. That of those without a voice, the real 99%, the people of Camp Ashraf. So the clock ticks down to zero. The NCRI warn of a Srebrenica-style massacre if the world does nothing but wag its jaws.

This is a collective failure of will.

The Syrian people did not get help and protection from the sadistic Basheer. Now the worry is 3,400 people in the Iraqi desert will also be let down because no matter how hard they try, their voices are constantly lost in a sea of “more important” news.

Denis Campbell
UK Progressive 


  1. says

    What, US worry? Why is Campbell so worried?

    Campbell complains enigmatically that the ‘Syrian people did not get help and protection from the sadistic Basheer.’ Perhaps he’s referring to the Sudanese people and the sadistic Bashir or the Syrian people and the sadistic Assad – or, equally well, the ongoing post-revolutionary fate of Egypt’s Christian Copts and of Iraq’s Christians.

    But why worry? After all, our strenuous and bloody efforts in Iraq have paid off, to make the country safe for an Iran-puppet regime. So – as our peace-prize-winning leader and his minions assure us – our real task is done there and things will be just fine. As they likewise assure us, things will be just fine in Libya and Egypt too, now that everything has been done there to assure the political ascendancy of Islamists and the Moslem Brotherhood. (After all, although the Brotherhood’s leader just twelve months ago first declared jihad against the USA, we’re still here.) They also hail the new Islamist regime in Turkey (undoing a century of secular progress there, and already half-allied with Iran) as our wonderful friend, and indeed have endorsed its Islamist-dominated slate for a new post-revolutionary Syrian government. And their policy for Iran itself is obviously a resounding success. After all, the regime there is keeping order by quietly executing dozens of dissidents – as will likely happen at Camp Ashraf too – and so one of these years the Obama policy will be supremely successful: we will have US-Iran engagement. To be sure, for Obama ‘engagement’ means talking, and for the ayatollahs ‘engagement’ is done with nuke weapons, but – why worry? – engagement is engagement.

    So what is Campbell so worried about?

  2. says

    Thank you, Denis Campbell, for bringing the plight of the Iranian people in Camp Ashraf in Iraqi to everyones attention. I have Iranian friends in the Los Angeles area that have relatives in the camp. I’ve been in support of protecting these vulnerable residents of Camp Ashraf for some time. They’ve been subjected to countless attacks already, denied food and medical care and do not have any weapons to defend themselves. If the UN and US do not protect Camp Ashraf and provide safety for them, they will be responsible for yet another genocide. I have no doubt Iran is just waiting for the US to leave to take control of Iraqi. I would encourage people to write, call, or email their representatives and ask that proper protection be given to the residents of Camp Ashraf and the future of Iraqi.

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