First Iran dissidents in Iraq agree to move camp

December 29, 2011 01:53


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WASHINGTON - The leader of an Iranian dissident group in Iraq said on Wednesday that 400 members were ready to move from their camp outside Baghdad to a new location as a goodwill gesture aimed at resolving a stand-off with the Iraqi government.

Maryam Rajavi, who heads the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran, or PMOI, said the move was based on assurances from both US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Martin Kobler, the UN special representative for Iraq, that their safety and security would be respected.

Rajavi said the 400 residents would travel from Camp Ashraf, about 40 miles (65 km) north of Baghdad, to the sprawling former US military base known as Camp Liberty near Baghdad airport "at the first opportunity."

"The relocation of the first group of residents is, at the same time, a test of the Iraqi government's attitude toward the commitments it has given to the United Nations and the United States," Rajavi said in a statement emailed to Reuters from her headquarters in Paris.

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