"The Iraqi government is subject to Tehran’s influence on one hand and to Washington’s on the other."
Hussein Ali, 28, is a communications engineer in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. His comment reflects widely held views in Iraq.
There are two opposite views in Iraq concerning the PMOI. some support their movement and think they should be granted refugee status in Iraq, while others – I would say the majority – are very much against them. This is because in 1991, during the failed revolution against Saddam Hussein [by ‘revolution’, Hussein Ali is referring to the first Gulf War
], the Mujahideen fought alongside Saddam’s troops and killed many revolutionaries. As a result, many Shias, Kurds and Turkmenes, traditional Saddam opponents, are deeply resentful of the Mujahideen.
My personal view is that the group engages in terrorist activities, and should no longer be allowed to stay on Iraqi soil. The government is trying to evacuate the camps in a non-violent way to send the Mujahedeen back to Iran or to other host countries, and I think that is the right thing to do.
“I am convinced that Maliki didn’t order the attack on the camp”
The problem is that the Iraqi army today is largely uncontrolled by the central government. Soldiers obey local officers who act without orders. I am convinced that [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al] Maliki didn’t order the attack on the camp. Many members of the Iraqi military hate the Mujahideen, and were ready to attack at the slightest excuse.
The Iraqi government today is not independent and subject to opposing influences. On the one hand, it has close ties with Teheran, while on the other, it is close to Washington. Different members of the government lobby for tighter links with one or the other party. Maliki is in a difficult position. Iran is stepping up pressure for him to dismantle the Mujahideen camps, but he can’t use force because he doesn’t want to anger the US."
The above video was reportedly filmed by residents of camp Ashraf during the violence on April 8, 2011. The edits and annotations were added by members of the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran. Video posted on YouTube by supportashraf.