The United Nations and the government of Iraq have finally agreed on the transfer of the 3,400 Iranian residents of Camp Ashraf.
The UN office in Baghdad issued a statement on Sunday saying the Ashraf residents will be moved to temporary locations in Iraq until their refugee status is settled.
Camp Ashraf was the military base for the Iranian dissident group the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), located 100 kilometres from Baghdad and 80 kilometres from the Iranian border. It was established in 1986, and after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the U.S. took control of the base and disarmed the residents.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton welcomed the transfer of Camp Ashraf residents, adding that they will be sent to Camp Liberty, the former U.S. base near Baghdad International Airport. She has called on Camp Ashraf residents to cooperate with the UN in the transfer process.
While the PMOI had requested that all its forces be moved as one group, it has been determined that instead they will be transferred to different countries.
Iraq had set a deadline for the removal of Camp Ashraf residents, but the UN Secretary General negotiated an extension to the end of the current year to allow time for a humanitarian solution.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maleki extended the deadline for six months, announcing that 400 to 800 Camp Ashraf residents will be transferred to other countries by the end of December.