22 August 2012, Sadegh Sistani, “US State Department: When Its Enemy Becomes its Savior,” Global Politician.

An article in the Global Politician describes Sadegh Sistani as a “political prisoner who escaped Iranian dungeons in April 2011 and has endured 17 years and 8 months of torture and interrogation by the Iranian Intelligence service.”

Appeasing the Ayatollahs and Suppressing Democracy: U.S. Policy and the Iranian Opposition, IPC

The Sistani article makes an interesting case for the U.S. State Department to refrain from appeasing the Iranian regime by placing its main political opposition that rejects clerical rule on the Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list. In this respect, Sistani reinforces the argument made in an IPC book, Appeasing the Ayatollahs and Suppressing Democracy. One reviewer states that the book provides:

“an excellent discussion of how the past policies of appeasement and engagement with the Iranian regime have only made it more aggressive. The book provides many examples, especially for the Khatami (the “moderate” president) era and the U.S. administration’s attempts to appease the mullahs, hoping for reforms and moderation inside Iran.”

“The result was exactly the opposite. The Iranian mullahs internal repression was extended (as evident from the brutal repression of the student movements), many authors were assassinated during serial killings, substantially more women were stoned to death, Iran’s nuclear program accelerated, and guess who, after the “moderation” era, became Iran’s “president” — yes, Khatami paved the road for Ahmadinejad. The fact is: both Khatami and Ahmadinejad bow to Khamenei. Khamenei rules. There is no room for moderation.

“The only viable solution for a free, democratic Iran is to stop appeasing the mullahs, and to support the Iranian people and their resistance. The book provides a compelling argument why the Mojahedin [Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK)] cannot be ignored and the role they will inevitably have to play in the future of Iran.”

The Sistani article also discusses the siege of MEK residents by Iraqi Security Forces in Camp Ashraf as the residents await transfer to Camp Liberty and an opportunity for resettlement outside of Iraq. in this respect, the article supports the argument that the international community has a “responsibility to protect” unarmed civilians subject to harm put forth in an IPC post,

Iranian Dissidents Languish in Iraq

CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon popularized the “responsibility to protect” unarmed civilians subject to harm by well-armed states. The responsibility to protect principle (R2P) holds nations responsible for shielding civilians in their midst from war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity. 

According to the secretary general, the doctrine “requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.” Washington is now stepping up to the plate with its offer to protect the Iranian dissidents in Iraq.

But others have shirked their roles in monitoring the situation. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) acknowledged it has not visited the Iranian oppositionists as of the end of 2011 because “the situation . . . is being monitored by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq [UNAMI].”

Yet monitoring by UNAMI has not restrained Iraqi military and police forces. They violated a signed December 2011 memorandum of understanding between the UN and Government of Iraq by mistreating Iranian dissidents during their transfer from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya, formerly Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Since the publication of the “responsibility to protect” article, the situations in Ashraf and in Camp Liberty have deteriorated even further.

Struan Stevenson, Member of the European Parliament and President of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq stated that an assault on Camp Ashraf had occurred on 27 August 2012,

 “…causing injury to 20 residents, [and] once again reveals the ominous intentions of the Iranian regime and its collaborators in Iraq. According to pictures and video clips, Iraqi SWAT forces (wearing all-black uniforms) attacked the defenceless residents, who had gathered with their personal belongings to be inspected before moving to Camp Liberty at the specific request of the US and UN.”

For additional IPC commentary on the situation in Camp Liberty at the end of August 2012, see:

Iranian American Community of Northern California: Bi-Partisan Panel lauds Iranian dissidents in Iraq, urges Secretary Clinton to de-list the Iranian opposition, MeK, and ensure the peaceful resettlement of all Camp Ashraf residents in third countries

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