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An Interview With Camp Ashraf Representative Shahriar Kia

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An Interview With Camp Ashraf Representative Shahriar Kia

Back in May of this year, I wrote an article about a massacre that took place at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

Camp Ashraf is the home of Iran dissidents that are currently unarmed and relatively harmless, however they have a long history of coordinating attacks against the Iran regime. Some people would call those attacks part of a long-term revolution against a terrible dictatorship, while others would call the efforts of the MEK a form of terrorism.

There are even questions about the validity of historical accounts involving the involvement of the MEK in the death of soldiers and defense contractors in the 1970s, and the takeover of the U.S. embassy in 1979, where 52 Americans were held hostage for over a year.

Shahriar Kia has been one steadfast supporter of Camp Ashraf, wants the camp to remain where it is, and refutes all efforts from foreign diplomats that want to aid residents of the camp by moving them out of the camp and disbanding the group.

I decided to interview Shahriar directly and ask hard questions about the controversial group, and to dig further into its real history.

An Interview with Shahriar Kia

TSW (TopSecretWriters): We’ll get to the current status of Camp Ashraf in a moment, but first let’s explore the history of the MEK, because that is what so many Americans have a problem with, and it is what makes it difficult to support the people of Camp Ashraf.

In the 1970s, the MEK did not like U.S. support for the pro-Western shah, so U.S. soldiers and defense contractors were killed. This is documented. Could you explain why American citizens should overlook that history and support the MEK being taken off the terrorist list today? Could you also comment on whether it’s true that the MEK supported the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy where 52 Americans were held hostage for well over a year?

And finally, with the actions of your group against the Kurds and Shiites during the 1970s, it seems understandable that the MEK would not be welcome in Iraq because there is so much animosity from those groups.

How do you envision MEK members surviving if they remain in Iraq, in the face of so much hatred for those past deeds?

SK (Shahriar Kia): Before all, let me just clarify the known fact that allegations being circulated by supporters of the policy to appease the mullahs in the U.S. and Europe against the MEK – the main democratic opposition group resisting the mullahs – is, plain and simple, part of a plan organized by the Iranian Ministry of intelligence (MOIS). The MOIS appropriates great sums of money to run a campaign of disinformation with the aim of discrediting its opposition.

iran intel

These measures are to deceive western governments, supply its international lobbies with added fuel and extend its life. Allegations about the killing of American officers in the 70’s, backing the invasion of the American embassy in Tehran and taking part in the suppression of Kurds and Shiites in Iraq are only parts of this campaign and, simply put, are nothing but bogus lies. (See Enclosure # 21)

In 1999, Reuters reported that Mr . Mrtin Indyk , then-Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs , Publicly acknowledged that “the Iranian government reminded us” to put the Iranian Resistance on the FTO list.

In August 2002, Mr.Indyk told Newsweek that “the Mojahedin’s designation was a part of Clinton’s policy of rapprochement with Tehran.”

You referred to the U.S. support for the Shah.

It’s totally true that the Iranian people were discontented with the U.S. for its support of the Shah’s dictatorship, loathed by the Iranian people, and this is exactly what caused the Iranian people to have some sort of mistrust when it came to U.S. policy.

This feeling is not limited to the people of Iran; today many officials in the U.S. admit that America’s great mistake in backing the shah is what led to the current state of affairs in Iran. There is no doubt that three decades of mullah’s rule is a direct result and offspring of the shah’s dictatorship.


The American and British led coup against Dr. Mossadeq, marginalized the middle class and the reformists and drove them out of the political landscape, and paved the way for Islamic fundamentalism to emerge as an alternative.

Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran was the building block and the beginning for the spread of fundamentalism and terrorism throughout the Middle East.

The MEK was, from the outset, the main opposing force against the religious dictatorship in Iran and throughout the past three decades has paid a heavy price for its resistance against the religious fascism ruling Iran.

The fact that MEK opposed America’s support of the shah, however, doesn’t in any way link the killing of American officers to the MEK.

The struggle for freedom and democracy against the most ruthless and brutal dictatorship of recent history, which in the name of Islam knows no boundaries in perpetrating any and all atrocities against its opponents, has taken a heavy toll on the MEK and its members.

Execution of pregnant women, execution of youth as young as 13 and 14 years, sanctioned rapes of young girls before their execution, massacre of 30 thousand supporters and members of the MEK imprisoned within a few months in 1988 are all only a portion of the mullahs’ atrocities in Iran.

The Iranian regime’s current effort to massacre the residents of camp Ashraf is, in effect, an effort to complete an unfinished genocide by mullahs started years ago against members of MEK.

These allegations, which are being disseminated by the mullahs against the MEK, are nothing new. However, since the mullahs did not succeed in eliminating the MEK and the Iranian resistance was not curtailed, the mullahs have shifted gears and begun a smear campaign with the aim of demonizing the MEK.

Their main objectives are to discredit their main opposition group, to create confusion and thus justify the execution of MEK members in Iran (MEK sympathizers who were recently executed in Iran like Ali Sare,I, Jaffar Kazemi and …) and massacre of camp Ashraf residents.

What Sort of Iran Government Does MEK Desire?

TSW: Obviously the MEK and America share common interests in removing the current Iranian regime from power, however it appears that our motives are polar opposites. It is our impression that while Americans would like to see the regime replaced with Democracy and Freedom, your group would prefer Shiism and Marxism – is this true?

Also, from what I understand, the MEK is still an anti-Iran group that seeks the overthrow of the Iran regime. Can you describe the ideal scenario that the MEK members would like to see happen in Iran? What sort of perfect government and society do you envision?

SK: The MEK aspires for democracy, freedom and the establishment of a secular government in Iran. Our foreign policy will be based on peaceful coexistence, peace, regional and international collaboration and adherence to the UN charter. We shall have relations with all nations.

The only solution to putting an end to the tragedy of the Iranian regime and preventing a human catastrophe is bringing about a regime change in Iran. This is our mutual interest. This change will not be realized neither by foreign military intervention nor by appeasing the mullahs.


As stated by Mrs. Rajavi on numerous occasions, there exists a third option of regime change by Iranian people and their Resistance. This could be reached by putting an end to the appeasement policy and removing the MEK from the FTO list.

This will set free the potential of the Iranian people and their resistance in bringing about change in Iran. One of the main obstacles in the way of change in Iran, which has harnessed the potential for change in the Iranian people, is the unjust listing of the MEK.

The Iranian people and their resistance are, undoubtedly, in the same front with the civilized and democratic society in confronting Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, although we may have our points of disagreement. Any delay by the U.S. and the Europeans in standing by the side of the people will only have detrimental consequences for world peace.

What the MEK and residents of Ashraf desire – for the future of Iran – is democracy, freedom and the establishment of a secular government based on the principle of separation of church and state.

This charter was published by the Washington Times on March 31, 2007 and I’ve included a (Enclosure # 13).

UMaryam Rajavi’s Ten Point Platform for Future Iran

1. From our point of view, the ballot box is the only criterion for legitimacy. Accordingly, we seek a republic based on universal suffrage.

2. We want a pluralist system, freedom of parties and assembly. In Iran of tomorrow, we will respect all individual freedoms. Expression of opinion, speech and the media are completely free and any censorship or inquisition is banned.

3. In the free Iran of tomorrow, we support and are committed to the abolition of death penalty.

4. The Iranian Resistance is committed the separation of the church and the State. Any form of discrimination against the followers of all religions and denominations will be prohibited.

5. We believe in complete gender equality in political, social and economic arenas. We also committed to equal participation of women in political leadership. Any form of discrimination against women will be abolished. They will enjoy the right to freely choose their clothing.

6. We want to set up a modern legal system based on the principles of presumption of innocence, the right to defense, and the right to be tried in a public court. We also seek the total independence of judges. Cruel and degrading punishments will have no place in the future Iran.

7. We are committed to the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights, and international covenants and conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of discrimination Against Women.

8. We recognize private property, private investment and the market economy.

9. Our foreign policy will be based on peaceful coexistence, international and regional peace and cooperation, as well as respect for the United Nations Charter. We will establish relations will all countries.

10. We want the free Iran of tomorrow to be devoid of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

ashraf attack

The Impending Massacre at Camp Ashraf

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has stated that the government will shut down Camp Ashraf by the end of the year. The population does not want the MEK in Iraq because of past deeds. The U.S. troops, which provided protection during the American presence there, is coming to an end. Can you truly envision any scenario other than leaving Iraq and settling somewhere that is safer for Camp Ashraf residents?

Also, how high is the threat against Camp Ashraf and how often do attacks occur? Are there currently any defenses or is the camp solely dependent upon the diminishing U.S. presence?

SK: Residents of Ashraf are on the verge of a bloody massacre at the hands of the Iranian regime and the Maliki government.

The Maliki administration has announced that it is going to close camp Ashraf by the end of 2011. At a time when a guaranteed alternative has not been proposed to the camp residents, this ultimatum only lays the ground work for Maliki to perpetrate another massacre in Ashraf which is bound to be greater in scale and bloodier than the previous.

From another standpoint, one should note that Nori Maliki owes his second term as Prime Minister to the Iranian regime. Were it not for Iran, al-Iraqiya was the victorious block and Dr. Alavi was the rightful Prime Minister.

In return for the Iranian regime’s support and the support of Iraqi parties affiliated with Tehran of Nori al-Maliki, it is required that camp Ashraf be shutdown in return and its residents extradited to Iran or massacred and the Iranian opposition must be dismantled.

This is what Tehran has officially demanded from Maliki.

ashraf attack

There is no doubt in my mind that the mullahs in Tehran and Maliki have their minds set on carrying out another massacre in camp Ashraf. Presently, Iraqi armed forces are stationed in Ashraf with their armored personnel carriers and their guns directed towards the residents.

The inhumane siege against Ashraf continues. The 300 loudspeakers – placed in and around the camp by agents of the Iranian intelligence agency – are blaring profanity and threatening the residents around the clock; exposing the residents to psychological torture prevalent in Nazi concentrations camps.

Camp Ashraf is inhabited by 1000 Muslim women who are the prime target of Maliki’s suppressive forces and the terrorists in Iranian regime’s Qods force.

The residents are completely defenseless and unarmed in the face of a possible attack by the Iraqi forces and have no means of defending themselves.

It is unfortunate that despite the fact that each and every resident of Ashraf has signed an agreement with the U.S. in return for voluntarily handing over their arms, and despite being recognized by the U.S. as protected persons under the 4th Geneva Convention and despite U.S. assurances that pending final disposition of their case it is responsible for their protections; but time and again, when Iraqi security forces have launched attacks against the residents, the U.S. has turned a blind eye and has disregarded its responsibilities.

The U.S. government’s failure to live up to its promises and agreements with the residents of Ashraf has brought about the disapproval of American congressmen, jurists and members of parliament the world over. (Documents of hearings at the U.S. senate and congress are available per your request).

This is a practical solution for Ashraf residents:

On May 2011 a practical solution was provided by European Parliament’s delegation to settle Ashraf residents in third countries. That was a comprehensive plan but, unfortunately, the US embassy in Iraq, in bringing forward the illegal, dangerous and hopeless solution to relocate the residents inside Iraq, acted practically as an impediment to the European solution.

It is worthy to mention that the the any relocation of the residents inside Iraq is the same that Nouri-al- Maliki was seeking to carry out since two years ago. Such proposal by US Embassy in Iraq would in fact lead the 3400 inhabitants of camp Ashraf to Maliki’s slaughter house, while the US government and its embassy’s support for this solution could significantly act in favor of it.

ted ashraf

At the hearing session dated 27 July, Congressman Ted Poe declared “Relocation inside Iraq is the joint desire of Iranian and Iraqi regimes.”

On the contrary, there is an international consensus that compulsory dislocation inside Iraq would only the way for another massacre of the Ashraf residents and this is a reality which has been proved so far.

Besides the Iraqi and Europeans’ opposition to relocation inside Iraq, on July 21stthe Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment to the funding bill, which obliges the US government to prevent compulsory relocation of the Ashraf residents inside Iraq’.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Member of the U.S. House of representatives, announced in the same hearing session to the officials of the state department that “The U.S. State Department will be responsible for any further bloodshed in Ashraf. You, the State Department, will be held accountable for the loss of lives of unarmed civilians.”

In order to put the solution in practice:

1. A UN monitoring team should be stationed there to monitor the events and to see what is taking place there.

2. The refugee status of camp Ashraf residents should be reaffirmed by making a group determination with regard to themby the UNCHR,eventhough a temporary status,to grant them the right of international protection.

3. An immediate investigation regarding the April 8th massacre should be launched under auspices of the United Nations.

4. The iraqi government must be pushed to follow the call of United Nations Secretary General to refrain any use of violation and to end the inhuman siege and psycological torture; and to withdraw armed troops inside the camp, where there are close to 1000 muslim women.

5. United States and the European Union should support theEuropean Parliament’s solution to transfer the residents to third contries as well as providing their protection until the end of this project.

Final Words

Shahriar and supporters of Camp Ashraf provide more than enough evidence showing that the people of Camp Ashraf are currently nowhere near worthy of being included on any terror list. They turned in their arms – their only source of protection against outsiders – to the U.S. in exchange for protection.

It seems clear that the U.S. is letting them down. Even worse, as the end of the year approaches, the senseless slaughter of innocent residents at Camp Ashraf appears inevitable.

Image Credits:

(1) Wikipedia: Ashraf

Originally published on

  • Majidbia2

    Top Secret writers I take my hat off to you and your no none sense reporting. This is how reporting was meant to be. Thank you for cutting through all the red tape and propaganda to give voice to the voiceless. I hope you write more often about Iran and our revolution. Keep up the good work.

  • alexgeorge

    Great Job Ryan. It is wonderful to see that those who are denied a chance to express their views are provided this opportunity here.

    Quite illuminating and educational.

  • Sarnegon

    Great interview. The Iranian regime and it’s lobby in United States known as NIAC or so called National Iranian American Council which are paid members of the Iranian secret service in United States have been trying very hard to muddy the waters and confuse the issue by putting out lies and misinformation about the MEK. It is good to see that the independent media is coming through and giving opportunity for the truth to be heard. Thank you for your time and effort.

  • Ali_sadeq_1

    The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, (MOIS), has shaped the opinion of the MeK throughout the world. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Thank you for discloseing some important issu in your repport.

  • Thanks to Mr. Dube for discloseing some important issu here. I hope the State Department and Pre. Obama adminstration doing their best to stopp one more crime against humanity.

  • Any

    Normal mature people with idea of freedom and liberty do not accept to live in those camp style of lif; rather, they search for alternative way of expressing themselves.
    An Observer

  • Any

    Normal mature people with idea of freedom and liberty do not accept to live in those camp style of lif; rather, they search for alternative way of expressing themselves.
    An Observer

  • “An Observer”

    Please elaborate?

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Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

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Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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