The Washington Post reports on Iraq’s acceptance of a new deal concerning the MEK’s Camp Ashraf:
Iraq’s leaders agreed Sunday to a U.N.-brokered deal that could lead to the peaceful emigration of thousands of Iranian dissidents who have lived in the country under U.S. protection since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein eight years ago.
But the agreement, confirmed by Obama administration officials, has not yet been accepted by the Iranian exiles, who have repeatedly insisted on a U.S. troop presence to guard against possible attacks by Iraqis. Dozens of members of the dissident group, known as the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, have been killed by Iraqis since 2009 in assaults on the desert enclave where they have lived since being invited to Iraq by Hussein in 1986.
Put another way, a path has been cleared to free the civilian hostages that the MEK leadership is keeping in Camp Ashraf to use as bargaining chips in their effort to manipulate American opinion to get the government to change the official status of their group. American advocates for the MEK’s de-listing regularly exploit the misfortune of the inhabitants of Camp Ashraf, wrap themselves in the mantle of humanitarianism, and confuse the very different issues of the inhabitants’ safe departure from Iraq and the status of the MEK. Naturally, the MEK is not very interested in accepting a deal that deprives its leaders of the symbolism and political leverage that the plight of Camp Ashraf’s inhabitants provides, and its American advocates will have a harder time pretending that their advocacy for this terrorist group is linked to protecting the rights of a vulnerable population.
The deal seems to have provided an opportunity for the inhabitants of Camp Ashraf to escape from a country that is understandably hostile to their group, and it avoids repatriating them to Iran or anywhere else against their will:
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatically sensitive negotiations, said the accord would allow the Iranian exiles to move from their remote enclave, known as Camp Ashraf, to the grounds of Camp Liberty, the former U.S. military base near the Baghdad airport. They could then apply for emigration to other countries while under constant watch by unarmed U.N. observers.
This would appear to be a good outcome for everyone except the MEK leadership and its friends in the West.