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Condemnation of attack on Iranian refugees

By STRUAN STEVENSON, UPI Outside View Commentator   |   June 19, 2013 at 12:04 AM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, June 19 (UPI) -- The most recent terrorist attack on June 15, which left two dead and more than 70 people wounded, proved once more that the most urgent question now is the security and safety of the 3,100 people of the Iranian opposition People's Mujahedin of Iran trapped in Camp Liberty.

The only practical solution, while relocation isn't happening, is to return them to Ashraf.

Reports indicate that the Iranian regime's Quds force, instructed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in coordination with security forces of the Iraqi government, took part in this vicious attack during lunch time Saturday, firing 40 rockets on the defenseless Iranian refugees.

This atrocity was planned to coincide with the Iranian regime's sham presidential election.

Together with many colleagues in European Parliament, we had repeatedly written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warning that another atrocity was imminent and that his discredited envoy in Iraq, Martin Kobler, was spending more time appeasing the brutal and venal governments of Iraq and Iran, than looking after the interest of these 3,100 refugees, who were supposed to be in his care.

Last Saturday's attack stands as a major indictment of the failure of the United Nations to provide even rudimentary protection to registered refugees.

Not a single hard hat or armored vest has been provided to the residents of Camp Liberty, despite our repeated pleas following the past two rocket attacks, one of which in February took the lives of eight people. Not a single concrete T-wall has been restored to the camp, despite the fact that thousands of them are in the immediate vicinity of Liberty.

More than 300 members of the European Parliament who have signed this appeal, have strongly criticized "Baroness Ashton and the EU Member States who have been silent and inactive vis-a-vis this crime, thereby permitting the Iranian regime and the government of Iraq to continue with their program of murder and aggression."

It seems more than ever that the rapid transfer to third countries of these refugees is a myth and despite Martin Kobler's false promises, after 1 1/2 years, only half a percent of the whole population have been moved outside of Iraq.

The Euro MPs' statement urged Liberty residents to be immediately returned to Ashraf where they have relative security and be relocated from there to safe third countries. It also called on the U.N. secretary-general to replace Martin Kobler in Iraq.

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(Struan Stevenson is a Conservative Euro Member of Parliament from Scotland. He is president of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq. He also is chairman of the "Friends of a Free Iran" group in European Parliament.)

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(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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