Bloomberg News

Iraq Shouldn’t Close Iranian Dissident Camp This Month, UN Says

December 06, 2011

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The United Nations said today Iraq should postpone plans to close by the end of the year an Iranian refugee camp occupied by the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, considered by the U.S. to be a terrorist organization.

The UN envoy to Iraq, Martin Kobler, told the Security Council that “clearly, the situation cannot be fully resolved before” Dec. 31, the deadline set by Iraq in June to shut down Camp Ashraf. The camp, located 35 miles (57 kilometers) north of the capital Baghdad, is home to about 3,400 Iranian exiles who advocate the overthrow of the Islamic regime in Tehran.

The UN appealed to Iraq to extend the deadline “in order to permit adequate time and space for a solution to be found,” Kobler told the 15-nation body, which has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran, the latest being last year.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani announced the closure of Camp Ashraf after it came under attack from Iraqi forces in April. U.S. forces handed over responsibility for security at the camp to Iraqi authorities in February 2009.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at

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