10232014Thu

U.N., U.S. condemn attack on Iran dissidents in Iraq

NITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. secretary-general and the U.S. government condemned a deadly attack on an Iranian dissident camp in the Iraqi capital early on Saturday and urged Iraqi authorities to carry out a full investigation.

"(Ban Ki-moon) strongly condemns the mortar attack today on Camp Liberty, the temporary transit facility near Baghdad for former residents of Camp Ashraf," the secretary-general's press office said in a statement.

At least five people were killed and more than 25 wounded in the rocket attack, police sources said.

"The Secretary-General calls on the Government of Iraq, which is responsible for the safety and security of residents of both Camp Liberty and Camp Ashraf, to promptly and fully investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice," it said.

The U.S. State Department condemned "in the strongest terms the vicious and senseless terrorist attack."

"We understand the Government of Iraq has undertaken to promptly investigate the attack," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. "We call on it to earnestly and fully carry out that investigation and to take all appropriate measures to enhance the security of the camp consistent with its commitment and obligation to the safety and security of the camp's residents.

"The terrorists responsible for this attack must be brought to justice," the U.S. statement added.

The Iranian dissident group Mujahadin-e-Khalq, or MEK, said six people including a woman died after its camp was hit by mortars and missiles, while the U.N. mission in Iraq said it was aware of a number of deaths.

The MEK calls for the overthrow of Iran's clerical leaders and fought alongside the forces of former Iraqi Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

It is now seeking to recast itself as an Iranian opposition force but is no longer welcome in Iraq under the Shi'ite Muslim-led government that came to power after U.S.-led forces invaded and toppled Saddam in 2003.

The MEK has long criticized Ban's envoy in Iraq, Martin Kobler, accusing him of playing down problems with the group's facilities at its new temporary location at Camp Liberty. The United Nations has dismissed the criticism.

The statement said Ban "reiterates the United Nations' strong commitment to continue its longstanding efforts to facilitate a peaceful and durable solution for the residents of both Camp Liberty and Camp Ashraf."

In April 2011, 34 people were killed at Camp Ashraf, located in Diyala province, after Iraqi security forces moved against them, according to a U.N. investigation.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Peter Cooney)

Search

Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE