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WikiLeaks: 09LONDON544, IRAN: MEK SUPPORTERS IN PLAN TO PRESS HMG, USG

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Reference IDCreatedClassificationOrigin
09LONDON5442009-03-02 15:25CONFIDENTIALEmbassy London
VZCZCXRO6927
PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLO #0544 0611525
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021525Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1581
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000544 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/27/2019 
TAGS: EU KPAO PGOV PHUM PREL PROP PTER TI UK
SUBJECT: IRAN: MEK SUPPORTERS IN PLAN TO PRESS HMG, USG, 
ICJ ON BEHALF OF CAMP ASHRAF RESIDENTS 
 
REF: LONDON 100 
 
Classified By: Classified By: Political Counselor Richard Mills, Jr. fo 
r reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 


1.  (C) Summary:   Mujahadeen e Khalq (MEK) supporters within 
Parliament are ramping up pressure on HMG on behalf of MEK 
residents at camp Ashraf, and will be pressing HMG, via 
questions in the Commons this week, for USG and Iraqi public 
commitments to protect Camp Ashraf residents.    MPs stated 
their intention to send a delegation to Washington and to 
write to the International Court of Justice in support of 
Camp Ashraf residents. End summary. 
 
2,  (SBU)  The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran 
Freedom met February 26 to demonstrate MPs' support for an 
"International Campaign to Protect Iranian Resistance Members 
in Ashraf City in Iraq."   MPs and peers spoke;the Labour 
Party's Lord Corbett chaired the session.  Speakers included 
Liberal-Democratic Deputy Minister Lord Dholakia, Lord 
Wattington, and Baroness Gibson. The Committee called on the 
Iraqi government to recognize the international human rights 
of MEK members in Ashraf and criticized the USG's "failure" 
to de-list the MEK as a terrorist organization under U.S. 
law.  Participating MPs said they plan to pressure HMG to 
press for a statement from the USG about Camp Ashraf 
residents.  The audience was composed mostly of MEK 
sympathizers, some apparently with relatives in Ashraf. As is 
frequently the case at this Committee's sessions, there was 
an MEK-produced video shown, this one about a recent visit to 
Ashraf by European Community officials, emphasizing the 
humanitarian plight of Ashraf's residents. 
 
MPs Criticize Ashraf Conditions 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
3.  (C) Corbett claimed Ashraf residents are living in poor 
conditions, with no one allowed into the city; he claimed 
the MEK fears the Iraqi government will extradite residents 
to Iran if it sees an opportunity. Corbett said the USG, in 
handing control of Ashraf to GOI, recognized Ashraf residents 
as "protected persons" under international law; he believes 
Ashraf residents should be protected by all involved states 
under the fourth Geneva Convention. Corbett stated the 
Iranian government cannot be trusted to recognize 
international law and that UN-monitored elections must be 
held before any MEK members would agree to return to Iran. 
Corbett also said the Iraqi government cannot be trusted 
because of its alleged 'close ties' to Iran. Various members 
of the Committee criticized a letter from FCO Minister of 
State Bill Rammel sent in reply to Committee questions. 
Rammel's letter stated Ashraf was the sole responsibility of 
the USG and HMG was not involved. He also noted there is no 
evidence of ill-treatment of those MEK members who have 
already returned to Iran. 
 
4. (SBU)  Committee members stated they plan to ask on the 
floor of the Commons what  HMG is doing with the USG to 
protect MEK members in Ashraf; Members also plan to send MPs 
to Washington to discuss their concerns. The Committee will 
send a letter to the ICJ requesting that the Court declare 
Iraq to be in violation of international human rights norms. 
The Committee questioned whether President Obama would 
maintain protected status for Ashraf residents and called for 
an "unequivocal statement from the United States." 
 
Comment 
- - - - - - - - 
 
5.(C) As always, the positions of the MEK and its supporters 
are characterized by hyperbole and distortion.  London Iran 
Watcher has not attempted to engage with MEK supprters (and 
still less with members), but has kept FCO briefed on current 
USG public guidance on Camp Ashraf.  The MEK, however, 
remains an issue on which HMG senior levels are fatigued and 
jumpy, and only too glad to shelter behind the tough line the 
USG has maintained on the MEK (ref).   No U.S. Embassy 
officer participated in the February 26 Committee meeting; an 
Embassy staff member took notes from the audience and was not 
recognized or called upon during the session. 
 
Visit London's Classified Website: 
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Unit ed_Kingdom 
 
LEBARON

WikiLeaks: 09LONDON544, IRAN: MEK SUPPORTERS IN PLAN TO PRESS HMG, USG

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