Senior Iraqi political leader condemns pressures on Ashraf

A senior official of the al-Iraqiya coalition, which came out as the winner of ?Iraq’s parliamentary elections, has condemned pressures imposed by the current ?government in Baghdad against Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf.?

Zafer al-Ani suggested that restrictions imposed on the camp, which is home to about ??3,400 members of the main opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran ??(PMOI/MEK), are not necessarily directly implemented by the Iranian regime in Tehran ?but rather carried out by its proxies in Baghdad. ?

Mr. al-Ani said the goal of the suppressive measures against Ashraf residents is to make ?life intolerable for them in order to compel them to leave, measures that he said would not ?fall into the category of Iraqi national interests.?

Ashraf residents are protected internationally and there is no cause for concern about their ?presence in Iraq, the Iraqi leader said, but the current regime in Iran is terrified of them, ?which exposes the regime’s weakness and instability as well as its meddling in Iraq’s ?internal affairs.?

Dr. al-Ani, who is also the Secretary General of the National Future, said the PMOI enjoy ?broad popular support in Iran and represents a political alternative to the current regime ?ruling the country. “We have not heard about any other Iranian group that has deeper ?roots in Iranian society than the PMOI, which explains all the pressures against Ashraf,” ?he added.?

Dr. al-Ani also referred to the regime’s meddling in Iraq, saying, “The clearest and most ?threatening foreign involvement is that which concerns the role that the Iranian regime ?plays in Iraq.”?

He added that the regime is behind the creation as well as dissolution of some groupings, ?the leading example of which is the so-called National Coalition, the aim of which is to ?secure a second term for the incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.?

Al-Ani added that the regime is exerting pressure to prevent the Iraqiya list from carrying ?out its task of forming the next government. Therefore, foreign intervention, particularly ?that of the Iranian regime, defines much of the political trends in today’s Iraq, he sai

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