Iranians in Ashraf agree to relocate
BAGHDADThe leader of an Iranian dissident group in Iraq said Dec. 28 that 400 members were ready to move from their camp, Camp Ashraf, outside Baghdad to a new location as a goodwill gesture aimed at resolving a stand-off with the Iraqi government.
Maryam Rajavi, who heads the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI) said the move was based on assurances from both U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Martin Kobler, the U.N. special representative for Iraq, that their safety and security would be respected.
Rajavi said the 400 residents would travel from Camp Ashraf, about 65 kilometers north of Baghdad, to the former U.S. military base known as Camp Liberty “at the first opportunity.” The future of the 25-year-old Camp Ashraf became uncertain in 2009 after the U.S. turned it over to Iraq’s government, which considers its residents a security threat. Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein allowed the rebel People’s Mujahedeen to set up the camp during the war with Iran in the 1980s. Meanwhile, multiple rockets hit the camp, officials and the group based there said Dec. 28. “Four mortars fell on Camp Ashraf from unknown sources,” the official said.
Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.