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Speech by Struan Stevenson MEP, President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, to the Press Conference in Residence Palace, Brussels on Camp Ashraf Crisis


Extracts from a speech by Struan Stevenson MEP, President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, to the Press Conference in Residence Palace, Brussels.

Wednesday 30 November 2011- Brussels


“The Government of Iraq is continuously working on its plan to attack Ashraf and massacre the residents. Based on information received, on November 23, the Iraqi Government’s Committee tasked with the suppression of Ashraf sent a number of the Iranian regime’s intelligence agents to the military operation headquarters of Diyala province to consult closely on the operation for the impending attack on Ashraf. According to another report, the mullahs’ intelligence service (MOIS) and the terrorist Quds Force have asked Diyala Operation headquarters to have a number of intelligence agents fly over Ashraf by helicopter, to identify ‘sensitive locations’ that can be targeted  in the  attack. “Yesterday the Iranian regime orchestrated an attack on the British Embassy in Tehran. Weeks ago their plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US was uncovered in Washington. They continue to develop nuclear weapons with which they will threaten the peace and stability of the Middle East and the world. They are a pariah state and let’s be clear, it is the Iranian regime that runs Iraq. The Iraqi coalition government was created in Tehran. Nouri Al-Maliki takes his orders from the mullahs and the mullahs have ordered the annihilation of Ashraf.

“Our information from Baghdad points to the fact that plans have been developed to mount a massive attack on Ashraf within the coming month, involving the Iraqi military, the Iraqi police, special battalions under the direct command of Nouri Al Maliki, the anti terrorist force and representatives from the MOIS and Quds force from Iran. The plan involves dividing men and women and dividing the young and old, stripping them of all means of communication with the outside world and trucking them to various locations around Iraq. 120 of the leaders of Ashraf will be arrested, taken to the infamous Al-Mothanna prison outside Baghdad and subsequently deported to Iran, where they will face certain torture and execution.

“This is the plan of the Iraqi Government, who told us last week in a clear and detailed document that they regard the Ashraf residents as terrorists and do not accept that they are refugees or have any status in international law or have any protection under the Geneva conventions.

“This is the plan to which the UN and EU respond with mealy-mouthed whimpers about ‘Iraqi sovereignty’. Well Hitler had sovereignty over the Jews in Nazi Germany. The Government of Iraq, aided and abetted by their puppet-masters in Tehran, is intent on committing a massacre in Ashraf. They repeat endlessly that they will respect the human rights and protect the safety of the Ashraf residents. The world witnessed twice before how they do that. They protect their safety by machine-gunning unarmed men and women and crushing them under armoured vehicles and tanks. They respect their human rights by blaring propaganda and threats through 300 loudspeakers at unbearable noise levels, 24 hours a day for the past two years. They observe their human dignity by denying access to fuel and medicine and allowing the injured and sick to die in agony.

“This is the same Iraqi government that the UN and EU ask us now to entrust the fate of 3400 refugees. This is the government which plans to implement the ‘Final Solution’ to the Ashraf crisis. But it can be averted. The EU foreign ministers and Baroness Ashton must show that they will not be bullied. They must show that they have some spine. They must denounce the deadline imposed by Maliki to close Ashraf by the end of this year and they must condemn any forcible displacement of Ashraf residents inside Iraq. The UNHCR must be given the time and space to register all 3400 Ashraf residents as refugees so that we can implement the EU re-settlement plan and evacuate these unarmed and defenceless people to countries of safety.

“The Iranian resistance and its President, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, have shown the utmost cooperation and flexibility in the past 8 months to find a peaceful solution for the Ashraf crisis. After endorsing the proposal of the European Parliament, they have been seriously working internationally to implement this proposal. But all their efforts have been blocked by obstructions from the Iraqi government.

“If Iraq is still intent on the forcible relocation of the Ashraf residents, then it must be made absolutely clear that those Ashraf residents are not at all prepared to be forcibly displaced inside Iraq and one should not expect them to volunteer to be slaughtered. If they are forced to be displaced, they will have no other option but to resist.”