- Posted April 21, 2012 by
- Mouloud Aounit, honorary MRAP chairman and friend of Ashraf residents, passed away
- Prominent Shiite clerics in Lebanon call on all Shiites to support Syrian revolution
- Catastrophic quake in NW Iran; mullahs covering up widespread proportions of casualties and destruction
- Iraqi government prevents burial of corpses of three residents of Ashraf and Liberty
- At least 14 of Iranian regime elements arrested in Syria are senior IRGC commanders
The most potent answer to Tehran
LONDON, April 20 (UPI) - By DAVID AMESS - When six world powers met with Iranian officials last week for the first time in 15 months, the talks were hailed in Europe as the first step toward a "negotiated solution" over fears of Tehran's nuclear program.
But was this really anything more than a public relations event?
Two days after the talks in Istanbul, Iran's foreign minister made clear what game he was playing -- saying only a quick end to the West's sanctions would bring them closer to the negotiating table.
And then a day later, in a show of defiance, Iran flexed its "military might at a parade to mark National Army Day and its president warned against "foreign interference" from "the enemy."
The sad truth is that these talks, and the further meeting tabled in Baghdad next month, are nothing more than a smokescreen from the Iranian regime, while behind the scenes it pushes ahead with the uranium enrichment program.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is right to say the "burden of action" is with Iran to prove it is serious in nuclear talks before any promises are made about easing sanctions.
Iran has lost about 40 percent of its oil export in the past six months and the currency has plummeted by almost the same amount: proof, albeit minimal, that sanctions are having some effect.
But if history has taught us anything it is that they will not be enough. Nor is foreign invasion the answer.
There is a third way for Iran, however: to break the shackles of oppression and allow a legitimate opposition to challenge the regime.
In that context, the fate of a group of 3,300 dissidents exiled in Iraq and under grave threat is of paramount importance. Protecting them from persecution is more than a humanitarian prerequisite. It is a geopolitical imperative.
The dissidents, members of Iran's main opposition movement, the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran, want freedom for their country and a democratic future. Their very existence is a threat to the Mullahs, who have sought to destroy them.
One massacre at Camp Ashraf, their home near Baghdad, killed 36 residents and wounded hundreds more in April last year. Iraqi troops, at the behest of Iran, carried out the atrocity. The Shiite officials of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government went further in their allegiance with Tehran, by vowing to close Ashraf by the end of 2011.
An international campaign averted a disaster and after signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the government of Iraq, Maryam Rajavi, the leader of resistance, agreed for the residents to move to a new home.
At Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base, they could be interviewed and relocated as refugees to third countries.
But of course it was not that simple. The Iraqis turned the home into a prison, penning the residents into a high-walled space no bigger than 1 square kilometer and subjecting them to inhumane conditions that failed to reach a minimum standard: there is a critical shortage of water and electricity and a broken sewage system.
Despite the duplicity of the Iraqis, the PMOI members have honored their part of the bargain. Four groups of Ashraf residents have now transferred to the camp -- more than 1,200 people in total.
The Iraqis have continued to violate the agreement -- the most recent batch of residents were searched for five days and then prevented from taking with them any vehicles, electricity generators or the engineering tools required to make Liberty a livable space. Even such items as air conditioners, stereos and satellite dishes were confiscated.
Read more: http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-resistance/11889-the-most-potent-answer-to-tehran