Disturbing images and accounts of the Islamic State’s brutal onslaught in Iraq have become the source of outrage and concern worldwide, and states are frantically searching for a strategy to resolve the crisis caused by the rise of the extremist group.
President Barack Obama, who previously dismissed the group’s advances by comparing it to a JV team, has gone out of his way toauthorize airstrikes against the group in Iraq. He recently affirmedexpanding the offensive to Syria, and is seeking support from Congress and allies in NATO and the Middle-East region to fight the Islamic State. Continue reading →
I remember how in the mid-summer season of 2012, following attacks and raids carried out by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s special forces against Camp Ashraf (former home to around 3,000 Iranian refugees in Iraq) at the behest of the Iranian regime, lead to the vicious massacre of 36 of these refugees and hundreds of others being injured. Of course, all of the camp residents were recognized as ‘protected persons’ by the United States. Following this horrific crime, a quadrilateral agreement signed by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, US and the Iraqi governments, along with the residents’ representative, all Ashraf residents – who had lived in our traditional home in Ashraf for 25 years – relocated to Camp Liberty in Baghdad based on our trust in the United Nations as the highest international organization safeguarding human rights and international laws, and also the United States, who had both assumed responsibility regarding our safety and security. We were promised this camp would be a safe and temporary location for our resettlement to third countries to be safe from deadly attacks. However, it didn’t take long that in the winter of 2012, in the early morning hours of February 9th when we were asleep, all of a sudden and out of nowhere came a horrific missile attack resulting in 8 of our dearest friends losing their lives and dozens of other injured and wounded. Continue reading →
Part of President Obama’s solution to the Islamic State should be to ‘evict’ the Iranian regime and its militias from Iraq. That would give the new leadership in Baghdad a real and tangible opportunity to form an inclusive government, says General Hugh Shelton, former U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In an article published in Boston Globe, General Shelton said: “In fact, the litmus test for Iraq’s new leaders is their ability to distance themselves from the regime in Tehran and treat the Iranian dissidents in Iraq humanely. Failure to do so would have long-term consequences that would prove to be much more catastrophic.” Continue reading →
Speech by General David Phillips at a conference entitled “Middle East in Crisis: Challenges & opportunities, the Iranian Threat” held in Washington D.C. on August 30, 2014, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the massacre of 52 members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) on September 1, 2013 by Iraqi forces under the command of Nouri al-Maliki:
I served on active duty in the United States Army for 31 years. The most challenging mission I was ever given in those 31 years—and I’ve served from Oman to Just Cause in Panama, to the Middle East, was what took place right through the gates at Camp Ashraf. Continue reading →
Hassan Rouhani’s promises of greater freedoms in Iran have not resulted in any major improvements regarding human rights and freedom of expression, the U.N. chief said in a new report on Iran.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s annual report to the General Assembly on human rights in Iran, obtained by Reuters on Friday, also expressed alarm at the reported recent increase in executions in Iran.
The report said: the promises made by Hassan Rouhani “have not yet led to significant improvements, and restrictions on freedom of expression continue to affect many areas of life.”
“Journalists and other media personnel are frequently summoned or detained by the judiciary or face harassment and attacks by security forces,” Ban Ki-moon’s report said. Continue reading →
The Iranian regime is definitely the biggest loser of Minister Nouri Al-Maliki withdrawing his candidacy for a third term as Iraq’s Prime Minister. During eight years of divisive and sectarian rule, Maliki had proved himself to be the Iranian regime’s greatest ally in the region, dedicating his power and resources to furthering Iran’s agendas in Iraq and the region.
A bipartisan group of former officials and retired military officers is urging President Obama to provide humanitarian aid to hundreds of Iranian dissidents living at a former U.S. military compound near Baghdad’s international airport.
In an Aug. 28 letter to the president, the group said Iraq’s government has been blocking the delivery of food and medicine to the dissidents at Camp Liberty for about a week. Conditions at the refugee camp have been deteriorating rapidly as its exiled residents “are being denied proper means to sustain life.” Continue reading →
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