Iranian opposition group urges protection

The leader of an Iranian opposition group has called for the United Nations to protect a camp of its disarmed fighters in Ashraf, Iraq, after as many as 35 people were killed there in an Iraqi army attack in April.

During a rally attended by thousands in the French town of Villepinte on Saturday, Marjam Rajavi, the leader of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq’s (MEK) political wing, said that the UN should send monitors to the camp in order to protect the 3,400 people living there.

The Iraqi government has repeatedly called for the group to shut down the camp and move to another country. The camp, located north of Baghdad, was initially set up while Iraq was still ruled by former president Saddam Hussein, and served as a based for the MEK in its battle against the Iranian government.

The MEK is also known as the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), and its political wing is referred to as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

It has been labelled a “terrorist group” by the US since 1997, but several prominent US political figures present at the rally have called for their government to reverse that decision.

The US politicians present included Tom Ridge, who served as secretary of homeland security under president George W Bush; Andrew Card, who was chief of staff of the Bush White House’ and Rudy Guliani, the former mayor of New York City.

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