Former Algerian Prime Minister was speaking at a conference on the obligations of the UN vis-à-vis the Camp Ashraf, held at the European headquarters of the United Nations. The panel consisted of eminent personalities, set of political human rights defenders, Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian Resistance, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Struan Stevenson, chairman of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Iraq (which introduced a European plan to resolve the crisis Ashraf), Professor Ruth Wedgwood, a lawyer, Nontombi Tutu, human rights activist and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Madeleine Rees, Secretary General the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Christiane Perregaux, co-president of the Constituent Assembly of the Council of Geneva, Gianfranco Fattorini, co-chairman of the MRAP, Marc Falquet, Member of the Grand Council of Geneva, and Pastor Daniel Neeser. The meeting was chaired by Michel Joli, secretary general of France Libertés, Fondation Danielle Mitterrand.
Below is speech by Sid Ahmed Ghozali former Prime Minister of Algeria:
Let me take a few seconds to address two great ladies.
The first goes to Danielle Mitterrand, we learned yesterday from the media she was admitted to the emergency department of Georges Pompidou Hospital. With all my heart, I told him that we trust and that it will face this new challenge as she has to face all his life to the challenges posed by major causes, the most difficult and noble.
The second lady, Madam President and your dear sister Rajavi, we are around you today to say out loud, to cry the moment of our main concern in relation to requirements for an urgent meeting to ensure the residents of Ashraf protection, security, dignity and freedom.
Allow me to speak today to add the tone of the discourse of a world citizen concerned about peace and stability on the planet, a national of a country in the Arab-Muslim area, Algeria, where everyone, like other nations, is watching on TV, what TV shows, what happens every day in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria, in Egypt, but not in Iraq, because their TV does not show those images. Yet we are directly affected by what happens in Iraq, when we live what we have known up to now, the Arab spring.
This concern of ours here vis-à-vis Ashraf, is urgent to the international community in its entirety, and starting with the part where becomes personal, is to say the Arab- Muslim, because what happened yesterday in Ashraf, what is happening today, what can happen tomorrow has a direct impact in the short term and medium term on a difference in other parts of the sphere Arab-Muslim, and far beyond Iran’s borders.
Iraq is already done. The first result of the 2003 war was that Iraq was delivered to Iran, the Iranian regime. What is happening in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, the Arabian Peninsula, the Maghreb, Africa and particularly in North Africa?
As a result, neither Europe nor the United States will not escape unscathed if something goes wrong in Ashraf and more generally in the Iranian issue.
A threefold offense
At first glance, the question of Ashraf appearance as a serious offense in 3 aspects. First, the humanitarian and moral rights of a community of 3,500 people, second, a serious violation of international law and third, a heavy threat to peace and stability not only in the immediate vicinity of Iran, but also in Iraq, Palestine, on the peninsula and North Africa.
From the humanitarian and moral point of view, it would be enough to recall that unspeakable barbarity was committed for nearly three years by a government that is the Iraqi government, to direct orders of the Iranian regime, and we have seen through the economic, psychological torture and the launch of heavy equipment and weapons against a population that was completely disarmed by the U.S. military since 2003, eight years ago. We have all have seen the pictures, especially those of this incident the morning of April 8, 2011.
Not to mention what had happened earlier in July 2009, hostage-taking, resulting in more than a thousand wounded by gunfire, dozens of hostage-taking, death or shot to death by deprivation of drugs or care.
Ultimately, we are after these tragic events, and the setting of the famous time you mentioned, Mrs. Rajavi, 31 December 2011, and I quote the Iraqi government, “Ashraf hunt by any means.” When we saw how that was used before, only to terrorize these people, imagine what will be these, this is genocide ordered by the clerical regime.
So the international community is several months before a threat that is not only a potential threat openly clamée to see from one moment to the other, but the emergence of a new Srebrenica to be called Ashraf.
I could of course stay in this evocation of the only humanitarian aspect of the issue of Ashraf, a crucial component if it would be sufficient by itself to justify the urgent mobilization of the international community to meet physically, legally and credible conditions to ensure protection of Ashraf residents, dignity, freedom and security.
Other speakers have spoken and will speak with more authority than mine about the legal dimension of the problem of Ashraf. And I could perhaps remind that it is the Iraqi government since the end of 2008, after the SOFA agreement * between the American occupation army when it passed its responsibilities the Iraqi government is a government that legally committed itself as part of an international agreement known to protect this population. It is a commitment he made and signed.
This is the government which, by the fact of an openly declared allegiance to the Iranian government, the Iranian regime, began three years of torment o a population completely disarmed by the U.S. military since 2003.
The Government suggests, and I quote the official reasons publicly asserted: “I do not want this population because it is out of status its presence is a violation of sovereignty. “
But soon after, when he says he wants them out, he says he wants to take them to another part of Iraq. So it’s totally collapse … It is not sovereignty that is at issue, sovereignty is an excuse.
Recognition of a status
But thanks God, because God often does things, the great planner, we have all experienced with great satisfaction and gratitude the new position which was officially scheduled by the High Commissioner for Refugees.
You said before me, this official position for the first time in the history of relations between the People’s Mojahedin Ashraf or with UNHCR, the General Secretary of the High Commissioner for Refugees has recognized each inhabitant of Ashraf, the right to assert his /her inspiration for refugee status. He stated this position and is a breakthrough, a breakthrough and a very important policy.
Indeed, its first effect is that it completely collapses the argument, the pretext of the statute. The Iraqi government must find something else to justify its desire to expel the residents of Ashraf.
This decision relieves a lot, but not totally reassuring. Indeed, the Commissioner himself, quite legitimately, said he initiated the process by interviewing every resident of Ashraf to ask if they really want, freely, in a confidential and secure, in order to benefit refugee status.
The Commissioner said UNHCR immediately, at the same time, it taking time to intervene in conditions of privacy, security, tranquility and freedom of the interviewee. It takes time!
In the words of Mr. Stevenson, this deadline must jump. Indeed, there remains the problem of protection. We are haunted by the idea of a renewal of what happened in this region, which was tragic, and that would certainly be much more if it were to start over.
Remains to meet the means. And this is where I do not mean in terms of criticism, because Pillay made a very brave statement and very honorable in the aftermath of April 8, condemning the massacre of April 2011. But there was no result. There are now acts as it has a responsibility, the Office has responsibility for the UNAMI and the UN in general, has the means to effectively protect the work of UNHCR and thus also protect applicants for refugee status.
The geopolitical dimension
I turn now to the third dimension among the three I mentioned, it is the geopolitical dimension. I can not say it is more important than the humanitarian dimension because for me and for all of us, I believe, nothing is more important than human life, physical integrity, freedom and rights that are universally recognized.
I mean, without diminishing in any way, the issue of resistance of the Iranian people to a religious regime that is unnamable and unspeakable things, without diminishing the challenge posed by Ashraf for an organization like WIPO, in particular, and resistance Iranian chaired by Mrs. Rajavi, I note that the issue of Ashraf was a geopolitical and geostrategic dimension that goes beyond the purely national issue of Iran. The determination of the Iranian regime desiring to eradicate this population that has become emblematic of Resistance of Iran is only the expression of a cruel relentless strategy internally to perpetuate the domination of one people by a regime hated and therefore to seek to destroy the enemy number one. The number one enemy of the organization is most capable of putting this plan on the ground and is currently hampered, unfortunately, by the Western powers and most of them. It is a well-known and consubstantial to all authoritarian regimes. This is to keep the people from the inside by actions on the outside, where the second strategy, the expansionist strategy that would assure its domination over the entire Arab-Muslim world, and this by building a capacity for harm.
We have seen some of us, photos of a conference held there three days in Tehran, which was called the first congress of the Islamic Sarwa *, that is to say the revival of Islam, and in addition to all the elite of the Iranian regime, gathered, proclaimed one of 102 countries. In this regime, is a way of bomber’s torso, sending a signal: “We are the leaders of all Muslim world as we have representatives from 102 countries. “
And we saw some very strange images, the highest authorities of the Iraqi government, a supposedly independent government, kiss her hand, which is an act of allegiance to those who know Islam, as did the Muslims in their allegiance the prophet. These are so-called authorities who were democratically elected head of allegiance to a foreign regime.
Like many Arabs, Algerian Muslims, I think very few do not want the success of the Arab spring. But the Arab spring is already an expression of popular will, a popular uprising, but will he change? Does the West really want this spring leads to a real spring, that is to say about the modernization of institutions?
I am ready to come back for you to tell me that I was wrong. There will be nothing for the Arab Spring positive as this scheme will continue in Iran.
Iran, in addition to its historical weight millennia, is the only Arab Muslim country where there is an alternative force to replace the regime. This is not a force that was created to oppose the plan. It is a force that was born long before the Islamic Republic, the time of the Shah, in the wake of the famous spiritual Mossadegh. So a more than 50 years of age, 50 years anchorage in the population, and there is no equivalent. If this fails in Iran, there is no hope.
Second, to be convinced that the Iranian regime insists on developing its ability to prevent nuisance to prevent what he wants. The Iranian regime can not afford to make peace in Palestine, but it has the means to stop any Palestinian process. The Iranian regime can not afford to impose a regime in an Arab country, but it has the means to prevent any positive process. This is consubstantial with its strategy and its very nature expansionist dictatorship.
What is strange is that very often we see a kind of paradox in which the U.S. administration on the one hand, the Iranian regime on the other side, which are as irreconcilable enemies, often on the same side.
For example, the PMOI was declared a terrorist organization in 1997 by Bill Clinton for reasons of simplicity, to please the plan at the time because he played the “friend hat”. They were followed by Europeans since 2001, and 27 European states have declared a terrorist organization, while the U.S. military officially recognized in 2003 that it was not a terrorist organization.
Thanks to the efforts that have lasted for years, legal battles and the policies pursued by pioneers like MM. Vidal-Quadras and Stevenson, followed now by a majority of MEPs, all European countries were forced by the European Court of Justice has withdrawn.
It is now two countries reporting organization Mujahideen terrorist organizations: the United States and the Iranian regime.
The second example is what is happening with Palestine. The Iranian regime does not want the issue resolved.
The Iranian regime is against this initiative, it plays on the division of the Palestinians. It’s against the initiative of Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) for recognition of Palestine to the United Nations.
Who is on his side? The United States of America!
So there is this blindness is paradoxical but finally concluded, and I hope I’m wrong, is it really the promise of Obama to open a new relationship with the Muslim world is sincere or not a promise. Or at least a promise that he is able to meet. Indeed, it is as if democracy was taking self-service but it does the opposite.
That is what I wanted to attract attention to. I weigh my words: there is a mechanical link, I would say the dialectic between the geopolitical issues of Iran and the general issue of law and democracy.
For me, Ashraf is not only a community at risk, it is a promise for the future which is in danger. I remember very well what was said five years ago Colonel Philips * “I am an officer who was involved in investigations of Camp ashraf residents for 18 months when we disarmed the people of Ashraf and when U.S. signed an individual contract with each resident of Ashraf, “he said,” I am one of those who participated in this investigation, and I can tell you that I wish that my daughter was in Ashraf for that they see how the Iranian woman is treated by the organization of Mojahedin. “
It is this promise for the future of Islamic societies that we want.