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Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister reaffirms Iranian Mojahedin’s right to stay in Iraq

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister reaffirms Iranian Mojahedin's right to stay in IraqAl-Iraq al-Youm daily, August 9, 2006, Page 1 – Dr. Salam Zubai, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for security and services affairs, strongly and officially denied in a press statement comments attributed to him by Badr weekly, August 6, on the expulsion of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran from Iraq, describing it as void of any truth.

The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister reaffirmed the People’s Mojahedin’s legal right to stay in Iraq as political refugees and said: “In addition, the Mojahedin enjoy a legal status as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention and are protected by U.S. forces.”

It should be reminded that the most important Iraqi political leaders and personalities and some parliamentary groups have in recent weeks condemned the mullahs’ regime’s conspiracies against the presence of PMOI members in Iraq and reaffirmed their legal rights as political refugees in statements and many interviews in the media.

Dr. Adnan al-Dulaimi, secretary general of the Iraqi People’s Congress, stated that the presence of this organization in Iraq is based on Iraqi and international laws. We will contact the Iraqi government and remind them that this is a political organization and has had no adverse effect on the Iraqi situation and does not interfere in Iraqi affairs. We hope that the Iraqi government will consider them as political refugees according to international law.

The Iraqi People’s Congress’s statement also declared that it considers the PMOI as a friendly organization which shares the desires of Iraqi people in all areas.

Separately, the president of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, Dr. Saleh Motlaq, said in a statement: “The People’s Mojahedin [members] are considered as political refugees on the bases of all international, human and legal norms. According to my knowledge of them, they have been in Iraq for over 20 years and have never interfered in Iraqi affairs – neither under the previous regime nor at present. They have been the guests of the Iraqi people for over 20 years and are considered as political refugees according to all international, human and legal norms.”

In comments to the press, Sheikh Khalaf al-Elyan, secretary general of the Council for Iraqi National Dialogue said: “The security problem in Iraq will be resolved by adopting a clear position on Iran’s meddling, not by exerting pressure against the People’s Mojahedin.”