Iran Focus: London, Mar. 01 The International Committee of the Red Cross dismissed claims by Iran that it supervised the repatriation of a group of 100 Iranians formerly associated with the opposition Peoples Mojahedin in Iraq.
London, Mar. 01 The International Committee of the Red Cross dismissed claims by Iran that it supervised the repatriation of a group of 100 Iranians formerly associated with the opposition Peoples Mojahedin in Iraq.
Reacting to a report on Iran’s state-run news agency claiming that 100 “penitent members of the [Mojahedin”> escaped a camp in Iraq and referred to the Red Cross” asking to be returned to Iran, the spokesperson for Middle East and North Africa department of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva said, “This operation did not take place under the auspices of the ICRC and this group of 100 persons never fled Ashraf Camp to be received by the ICRC”.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, a grouping of opposition forces including the Peoples Mojahedin, said in a statement received in London, “At a time when the ICRC does not have an office in Iraq since the bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad in 2003, the assertion that these individuals had fled Camp Ashraf and went to the ICRC in Iraq only displays the Intelligence Ministry’s stupidity”.
The Peoples Mojahedin announced in a statement two days ago that none of the persons returning to Iran came from the organisation’s camp in Iraq. It said the persons in question had gone to stay with U.S. forces outside the camp some two years ago, and were under American guard.
“Seventy-five percent of these individuals have never been PMOI members. They were newly arrived individuals who went on with their lives two years ago because of the war, the bombing and an assortment of restrictions and difficulties. Among the remainder, there is not even one official of the PMOI”, it said.
The group said that while the responsibility for these persons rested with the American forces, the Mojahedin had insisted that they should be free to go where they want to go as soon as possible.
The NCRI statement said the Iranian regimes boisterous propaganda on the return of former activists to Iran was part of a smear campaign against the opposition movement, noting that the clerical regime has found itself in need of a new round of psychological warfare against the Iranian Resistance, as it faces increasing domestic and international crises.