Tom Ridge: UN has ‘failed miserably’ to protect Iranian dissidents in Liberty concentration camp

The United Nations has ‘failed miserably’ to protect Iranian dissidents at Camp Liberty before moving them to safe havens abroad, former US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has told a meeting in US Senate in Washington DC.

He branded Camp Liberty a ‘concentration camp’ where Iranian residents are under daily threat of attack from Iraqi forces guarding the camp.

Speaking at a gathering in the US Senate to mark the Iranian New Year, Mr Ridge said: “The United Nations has failed miserably in living up to the promise of securing the appropriate safety, and the Maliki government has failed in their responsibility to move these people from Ashraf to much safer places.

“Our State Department was shown photographs of Camp Liberty by the UN. The amenities were plentiful, the sewage system was operational, they had electricity, they had 17,000 T-walls, it was safe, it was secure, it was humane. A city for these industrious, enterprising, able, well-educated, sophisticated people.

“But when they got there they realized that the photos were not a distortion, they were an abject, bold-faced lie.

“They had gutted the place, no sewage, no water and sewer, no electricity, no security areas, and they had reduced the size of the Camp almost to a postage stamp.”

But the UN has now failed in its promise to let the 100 people remaining at Ashraf to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of property there, and also failed to upgrade facilities at Liberty, Mr Ridge said.

They also failed to provide a US military presence to protect the residents from attack, he told delegates.

And he condemned the murder of 52 people at Ashraf which left the US government with ‘no credibility’ for its failure to defend the camp.

He also described Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki as a puppet of Iran, and dismissed the chances of negotiating a nuclear deal with the mullahs in Tehran.

He said of Maliki’s Iraq: “I think we need to discontinue aid for awhile, put a little pressure on him, and then we’re going to negotiate with the Iranians.

“We ought to send them a signal that once we make a commitment we keep it, let’s get them out of there, let’s open the doors to a couple hundred of them here it’s not a matter of being disengaged, it’s a matter of being disrespected, and as long as we fail to keep our word there is no reason that anybody should ever expect, could ever rely, on an American promise again.”

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