Yesterday, 31 October 2011, foreign minister of Iraq Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, in a joint press conference with the foreign minister of the fascist clerical regime ruling Iran Salehi, in a repulsive kowtow promised him: “We have declared that the decision to close down Ashraf by the end of the year shall be implemented. In letters to the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Refugees, and the European Union, we have emphasized the government’s decision in this regard…
There is no government that would accept the presence of a group or an organization on its soil against its will, its laws, and its sovereignty… this is not an acceptable matter in the international laws or conventions… we have even requested from our brothers in the Islamic Republic to adopt a clear and unequivocal stance regarding the issuance of amnesty or to offer specific facilities to those members of the organization that would voluntarily desire to return to their families in the Islamic Republic or to third countries in for their resettlement.”
Mr. Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, stated in this regard:
1- The repressive deadline to close down Ashraf by the end of 2011 is a flagrant violation of many articles and principles of the international law, the international human rights law, and the international humanitarian law. This ultimatum is a dictate of the religious fascism ruling Iran.
This ultimatum lacks any justification and vividly demonstrates the ominous intents of the Iraqi government to massacre Ashraf residents at the behest of the Iranian regime, especially after Ashraf residents, despite their absolute right to remain in a place they have lawfully lived for 26 years, have accepted the European parliament plan for resettlement in third countries.
2- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, together with many other UN agencies and many international parties have called on the Iraqi government to revoke this deadline thereby making possible the reconfirmation of the status of residents as political refugees and opening the way for a peaceful resolution of Ashraf issue and the transfer of residents to third countries.
3- Mr. Zebari’s statements are a blatant violation of UN Secretary-General’s instruction in article 66 of his report to the Security Council on July 7. Expressing his concern for “the loss of life during the violent incident on 7 and 8 April”, the Secretary-General wrote, “I urge the Iraqi authorities to refrain from the use of force, and to ensure adequate access for camp residents to goods and services”. He added, “I therefore encourage all stakeholders involved to increase their efforts to explore options and seek a consensual solution” and “I call upon Member States to help to support and facilitate the implementation of any arrangement that is acceptable to the Government of Iraq and the camp residents”.
4- Contrary to the statement made by Maliki’s foreign minister, Ashraf residents reside in Iraq in the context of the international law; they have never violated Iraq’s sovereignty, they have not occupied Iraqi land, and their presence in Iraq is in accordance with the international law. During the recent years, more than twenty legal opinions by the most significant international jurists have emphasized Ashraf residents’ rights as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention and political refugees. There is an international consensus that forcible relocation of Ashraf residents inside Iraq is illegal, forbidden and considered as a crime against humanity.
5- Zebari’s remarks set the stage for a yet greater massacre and justify the last two massacres against Ashraf residents on April 8, 2011 and July 28-29, 2009. The National Court of Spain has already opened a file against al-Maliki for crime against international community, crime against humanity and war crime.
6- We remind the foreign minister of Iraq that as the main minister in Maliki’s government, he is responsible for all the crimes committed by this government including massacre of Ashraf residents, and hence, he is liable to prosecution and trial in international tribunals. His statements concerning closure of Ashraf, which prepares the ground for a more massive crime, make him even more involved in these crimes. Zebari should not forget that the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal held all Hitler’s top ranking officials responsible for his crimes.
7-The members and supporters of Iranian Resistance including residents of Ashraf have only one red line which is giving in to the religious fascism ruling Iran. The clerical regime suffering total internal isolation, vainly attempts to eradicate the Ashraf residents to rescue its faltering regime. Through the overthrow of this regime and establishment of democracy in their homeland, the Ashraf resident, like other members of the Resistance, will soon go back to Iran. Mr. Zebari should think about the legal consequences of his partnership in Maliki’s crimes.
8- Mr. Zebari’s shameless remarks, doubles the responsibility of international community in this issue. The Iranian Resistance warns the UN Secretary-General, High Commissioner for refugees, High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Union and its high representative Baroness Ashton, Ambassador Jean De Ruyt and the United States against a further massacre in Ashraf. The Iranian Resistance calls on these authorities to take a clear and explicit stance against the deadline and compulsory relocation of Ashraf residents inside Iraq. It also calls for imperative measures by the UN to undertake protection responsibility of Ashraf residents and to station permanent international monitoring team in Ashraf.
Foreign Affairs Committee
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
November 1, 2011