U.N. adviser to help Iranian exiles get out of Iraq

Jan. 6, 2014 at 12:11 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named American Jane Holl Lute a special adviser to help Iranian exiles living in Iraq to relocate elsewhere.

The United Nations has been trying since 2011 to find countries that will take in the approximately 3,200 Iranians living in Camp Hurriya near the Baghdad airport -- some of them in Iraq since the 1980s -- but have so far only found new homes for 311 of them.

Holl Lute's role as Ban's special adviser for the relocation of the Camp Hurriya residents, many of them members of a group known as the People's Mojahedeen of Iran, will be to work with U.N. member states to find new homes for the Iranian exiles, a representative of Ban said in a release Sunday. She also will work with Nickolay Mladenov, Ban's special representative in Iraq.

Holl Lute most recently was a U.S. deputy secretary of homeland security. She previously served as the U.N. assistant secretary-general for peace-building support and assistant secretary-general for mission support in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

She also was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the U.N. Foundation and the Better World Fund.

Mladenov reiterated last week that the Iraqi government is responsible for protecting the camp's residents under an agreement it signed with the United Nations in 2011.

Camp Hurriya and Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf), which had previously housed the group, have been the targets of repeated attacks.

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