The strategic importance of Iraq because of its central position between Syria, Iran, Jordan Saudi Arabia and Turkey cannot be underestimated. That is why it is essential to see the election of a moderate, non sectarian government in Baghdad, which could play a pivotal role in resolving conflict in the Middle East and ending the spiral of violence in Iraq itself.
There is mounting concern that Iraq is once again descending into chaos and potential civil war, barely one year after the last American troops left the country. In recent weeks hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets in protests in six of the main Iraqi provinces, including Baghdad itself.
After nearly two decades, the PMOI (People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran) is delisted from the State Department's list of terror organizations, by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Upon hearing this news, large waves of celebration could be seen across different cities from Washington DC to New York and Toronto and from Paris to London and Oslo.
I fully endorse what the U.S. has done and is doing in the two cases in China and Myanmar. Governments that oppress their own citizens don't deserve our support. But a group wrongly labeled as terrorist, and using every legal means to overturn that label, does deserve much greater consideration than it is getting.
The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) was blacklisted by the Clinton administration to placate the Iranian mullahs in 1997. In 2012 the fallacy of that approach is self-evident. While it may be difficult to understand the U.S. Government's decision to label as terrorists a group of Iranian dissidents exiled in Iraq its recent perversion of the truth is most alarming.
When Secretary of State Clinton and all the NATO foreign and defense ministers convene in Brussels today, they will have one issue topping their agenda: the tumultuous, fragile situation in Afghanistan. With the deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan fast approaching, the enigma of finding a lasting solution has become even more perplexing.
Blaming the victim has been the strategy of oppressors as far back as anyone can remember. Now, in the ongoing struggle to protect the 3,400 Iranian dissidents trapped in Iraq, the strategy has taken an even more perverse turn - to blame those who would help the victims. This is a strategy being pursued, not just by the oppressors, but by "double agents" within the State Department.
At a major event in London's Queen Elizabeth II conference centre on Saturday, attended by 1,000 Anglo-Iranians, senior British jurists and MPs and US military experts called on the United Nations to intervene immediately to save the lives of 3,400 Iranian dissidents at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty in Iraq.