UNHCR looks at the Humanitarian Crisis Surrounding the Principal Iranian Resistance Residing at Camp Ashraf in Baghdad, Iraq

By Celine Zünd
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) called upon its supporters around the globe and in Geneva to once again demand that the United Nations make all necessary provisions for the protection of the close to 3400 combatants residing at Camp Ashraf, located 40 miles northeast of Baghdad.

In a report on September 24th, Le Temps of Switzerland, described Maryam Rajavi, the President of the Iranian Parliament in-exile as jubilant and confident as she rose to make a speech in the Victoria Hall in Geneva, Thursday night.

Mrs. Rajavi, the President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the voice of the residents of Camp Ashraf, smiling broadly, reminded the world at large, that the humanitarian crisis at the camp is still ongoing and that the residents of the camp, members of the exiled main Iranian opposition (PMOI) against the Tehran regime, have been the target of attacks by the Iraqi forces as early as April 8th 2011, where 36 women and men were killed and several hundred were wounded.

According to the NCRI, the refugees now live under the threat of an imminent attack, yet again, by the Iraqi regime, in collusion with the agents of the Iranian government, and under pressure of an ultimatum by the government of Iraq to evacuate their home by the end of the calendar year.

Thursday’s conference held at the theater in Geneva attracted more than a thousand members of the Iranians community in Diaspora, a great opportunity for NCRI to alert the international community on the grave situation at Camp Ashraf, yet again.

Though, there is cause for optimism at this juncture as a result of the last week recognition of the Camp Ashraf residents by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as asylum seekers, Mrs. Rajavi, while applauding the action by the UNHCR, emphasized that “this was a good first step, but not sufficient, and called on the UNHCR to recognize the full refugee status for the residents at Ashraf.”
The NCRI President further urged the U.S. Department of State and its government to remove the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and by extension the residents of Ashraf, from the its Foreign Terrorist Organizations’ list.

The residents of Ashraf are members of the PMOI, the main Iranian Resistance, which were added to the State Department’s black in 1997 in an effort by the US Government to t bring about a sort of rapprochement between Washington and Tehran.

Several dignitaries supportive of the cause of the residents of Camp Ashraf, including many Americans, including the former New York City Mayor, Rudi Giuliani, made speeches at Thursday’s event.

Additionally, other supporters included the Swiss on the boards of Geneva and the Parliamentary Rémy Pagani Eric Voruz stated that ” the Heroes and Heroines of Ashraf suffer under inhumane blockade,” referring to the siege of Camp Ashraf by the Iraqi military and interdiction of medical supplies and medicine to the camp for the wounded residents.

“The UN should move to install a monitoring team at the camp. Should another massacre occur, yet again, we will keep you accountable, “added the MP.

“The longer we wait, the more people of Ashraf are in danger of another attack,” said Rudi Giuliani to the cheering crowd at the Conference Hall.
Each and every one of the gatherings by the main Iranian resistance around the globe is accompanied by the massive support of the Iranian exiles and enthusiastic financial support for the organization.

The PMOI has the means, discipline, popular support and organizational skills to attract huge crowds for its causes and acquisition of financial aid by its sympathizers.

A sum that it does not wish to make public “for security reasons,” said Afshin Alavi, the representative of the NCRI. He further added that the funds come mainly from the Iranian community. Periodically, through the TV channel (Iran National Television) the Iranian main resistance holds telethons to raise money for Camp Ashraf. “Last time, $ 3 million (2.7 million Swiss francs) were donated by the Iranian people from within and without Iran.”

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