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I used to be a fundamentalist

By Vahed Saif, Camp Liberty

23 years ago in Iran I was a die-hard supporter of Ayatollah Khomeini, who depicted himself as the representative of God on Earth and said, “If you die for me you will go to Heaven.” Born in a poor, religious family I had no reason not to believe him. Low culture and poor economic status was one of the main elements that helped his recruiting, and at times it provided basic means that these individuals never had access to. The fundamentalists even described our poverty and hunger as a guarantee of our emancipation in life after death!

I was only 19 and the 1991 Persian Gulf War had just ended when I was enlisted in the Revolutionary Guards and we entered Iraq in a small group to promote Khomeini’s version of Islam. The mission that I was briefed on was to first deliver blows to Khomeini’s dissidents, meaning members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, and thus pursue our ultimate strategy being the occupation of Iraq. Continue reading I used to be a fundamentalist

Healing beds or torture and execution chambers?

By Hanif Garmabi, Camp Liberty

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Nearly 2 years ago I left my beloved father in Ashraf in the situation in which I believed that after accomplishing the matter of our possessions in the Ashraf, I would meet him again in the Camp Liberty, because in the quadripartite agreement, in which UN and US took part, the Iraqi government pledged to ensure the security and safety of those PMOI members who remained in Ashraf till the matter of possessions were settled.

But later on 1 September 2013 in total disbelief we heard the news of attack of the camp Ashraf by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki’s Dirty Division forces. I was shocked by this news, running to watch the news as it was being broadcasted. In the first broadcasting of the pictures of the victims of this atrocity, I saw my father lying dead on a bed in Camp Ashraf’s clinic. He was drenched in blood and had gunshots in his body, true signs of crime against humanity.

Later I watched that painful picture many times, and stared with agony to the innocence of my father who was betrayed, and always this question hurting me why? Continue reading Healing beds or torture and execution chambers?

My sister will live on forever…

By Milad, Camp Liberty

100In today’s world, emotions can no longer be expressed as in the past, because the hearts and minds of all people have been filled with a fist-full of lies presented by smiling appeasing politicians aiming to crush the will of resistance in all of mankind, and force them to surrender and succumb to their demands. Innocent people’s hopes for a better life have turned into ashes and dust, and in many cases pools of blood. Novels and stories are forgotten forever, and school blackboards are empty of meaningful words. Yet we all know that it is us, and only us, who must conquer this heart of history, again, with our own sacrifice.

A few days ago I was walking in the harsh gravel streets of Camp Liberty in Iraq, and down the road a number of women residing in the camp were also heading to their section. I was drowned in my own thoughts and was silently reciting a poem in my mind. All of a sudden, an image flashed before my eyes. One of the women had fallen to the floor. I didn’t know what to do and just ran towards them and asked, “Can I help?” One of them answered, “Please find a car and hurry!” Continue reading My sister will live on forever…

My Life Devoted to Guaranteeing a Better Life for Others

By Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Camp Liberty

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It has been more than 30 years since I have been dealing with conditions like the excerpts that I’ve cited below from the Iranian regime’s media outlets. I go to sleep each night and start every morning with these thoughts. Just take a look at a few news reports published in the Iranian regime’s newspapers:

- In the early hours of Thursday, September 18th, seventeen inmates in Kerman, Fars and Bandar Abbas were sent to the gallows. Five of them, including four in Shiraz and one in Marvdasht, were executed in public.

Moreover, 8 inmates were hanged in Kerman’s Shahab Prison in a mass execution.

4 other inmates were executed on Thursday morning in Bandar Abbas Prison.

- The ruling to amputate a man’s fingers in public was carried out this time in the town of Abar Kuh in Yazd Province. (23 August 2014)

This nightmare has yet to come to an end, and with Rouhani coming to power these executions have actually escalated; and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has referred to this subject in his annual report. Continue reading My Life Devoted to Guaranteeing a Better Life for Others

A choice

By Massoud Azadi

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It was spring 1981 and the time of universities’ summer holidays. I spoke to a friend of mine in Aachen University in order to work together for a few months to earn some money for a trip to Iran to visit our families, relatives and friends. We decided to do it and then bought souvenirs and set for Iran on July. To go by plane was expensive so we decided to go to Iran via land through Turkey, which was a good idea.

On the way we discussed many issues about our country Iran and how things were changed during the period we were away from the country, and about friends and families, also about our future and what each one of us planned for the future.

At the Iran-Turkey borders instead of the usual border police, the Pasdaran (Iranian revolutionary guard corps) checked our identifications before we boarded the bus. Their manner of checking us wasn’t friendly. They looked at everybody suspiciously and with skepticism. Continue reading A choice

Longing for a meeting

In memory of Asghar Emadi, victim of the September 1 massacre in Camp Ashraf

By Saeed Ahmadian, Camp Liberty

Asghar EmadiI was seven or eight years old when my mother told me that I had an uncle in Iraq. I was overjoyed to hear this news and begged her to tell me more about him – it was as if I had requested for something forbidden. “Quiet!” she told me nervously. “Don’t speak about this to anyone, especially when you go to school. You tell no one that you have an uncle in Iraq.”

I was both surprised and saddened by her reaction. What’s wrong with having an uncle? I thought. Why is it forbidden to mention his name? What has he done?

As I grew up, I heard new things about Asghar Emadi, my uncle, and I learned that he is a political activist opposing the regime ruling my country, Iran. That was why he had gone to Iraq, to avoid being caught by the Iranian regime, which was notoriously known for its widespread persecution and murder of opposition members. Continue reading Longing for a meeting

Appeasing Iran will embolden ISIS

Published on the Hill

print_logoAs the fight to neutralize, rollback and eventually eliminate the threat of the extremist group Islamic State rages on, the international community – in particular the West – should not forget that the policy in dealing with the extremist regime ruling Iran can have a crucial role in either seeing the campaign’s success – or its utter failure.

The Islamic State, a group also known as ISIS or ISIL, has in past months occupied swaths of Iraq and Syria and aims at establishing a Caliphate based on a twisted and violent interpretation of Islam. It strives to expand its borders, and through highly-publicize violent methods tries to intimidate the international community into recognizing its hegemony in the region.

Whether it admits it or not, the Islamic State will look up to the Iranian regime as a role model. The mullahs ruling Iran have achieved everything Islamic State extremists dream of someday achieving: a terrorism-exporting state based on Islamic fundamentalism that also has the potential to produce nuclear bombs and is recognized as a member of the international community. What more could they ask for?

Continue reading Appeasing Iran will embolden ISIS