Dr. Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq’s Vice-President: PMOI’s presence in Iraq is legitimate and legal and within jurisdiction of international laws

In an interview with al-Sharqia Television Dr. Tariq al-Hashimi, the Vice-President of Iraq unequivocally stated that presence of PMOI in Iraq is not solely within Iraqi national jurisdiction, but is an international issue and the international community should find a solution for it. He stressed that PMOI’s presence in Iraq is legitimate and legal and no harms should reach them. PMOI is Iraq’s guest and must be treated in that framework.

Al-Sharqia: Has the President abused his power?

Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq’s Vice-President: To this moment, the President hasn’t carried out his special qualifications and tasks which are assigned to him in the constitution. Today, the President and the Vice-Presidents can stop any executive decision made by any agency or at any level and assess whether or not the decision is constitutional.

Al-Sharqia: The President, as you indicated, has not performed his role, nevertheless, he has exceeded the powers that the constitution has given him. For example, when President Jalal Talibani went to Tehran and started making pledges regarding withdrawal of American forces or about Camp Ashraf – notwithstanding the manner in which this “symbol” was received, as you called him the “symbol of Iraqi people” and the manner in which he was treated in his repeated visits to Iran – aren’t these exceeding and crossing the line in using presidential powers?

Tariq al-Hashimi: Regarding the PMOI, I am not aware of the details; maybe the President has some information. I am not aware of the reality of the future of the presence of the PMOI on the Iraqi soil. But, today, their presence is indeed a legitimate (legal) presence and within international jurisdiction. There is an international law that regulates such presence.

Al-Sharqia: We are not referring to the information that the President has obtained, we are referring to his powers under the constitution.

Tariq al-Hashimi: Certainly, this issue is within qualifications and powers of the executive branch. Today, the President is part of the executive branch and therefore the decision about this issue must be made in coordination with the Council of Ministers and the President. But I am speaking about the international dimension of the issue. PMOI’s presence today is not solely within a national jurisdiction, but it is an international one. That is to say that their presence, presence of foreign nationals on the Iraqi soil, has been in accordance to an international decision. Accordingly, it is the international community that will indeed solve this problem.

Al-Sharqia: You are referring to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran?

Tariq al-Hashimi: Yes. Therefore, I say that the President may have some information that I don’t have, but what I am saying is that we should not go outside the framework of international laws. We must treat them as the guests of Iraq; we should not treat them in any other way and must not harm them in any way, until their final settlement is determined in accordance to the international laws.

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