Washington DC: In a Markup hearing on Wednesday, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously approved and referred to the House Floor, H.Res.650 titled, “Providing for the safety and security of the Iranian dissidents living in Camp Liberty/Hurriya in Iraq and awaiting resettlement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and permitting use of their own assets to assist in their resettlement.”
The Resolution calls on the United States to work with the Government of Iraq (GOI) to make sure personnel responsible for providing security for Camp Liberty are vetted and are not affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force or its surrogates. The bill also calls on the U.S. and GOI, in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), help the residents sell their property and assets at Camps Ashraf and Liberty, which in turn can facilitate their resettlement. The bill urges the above noted stakeholders to expedite the residents resettlement “according to the terms of the December 2011 MOU.”
“My goal is to get this quickly to the Floor of House of Representatives,” Committee Chairman, Ed Royce (R-CA) said after the hearing. The Committee’s Ranking Member, Eliot Engel (D-NY) noted, “The residents of Camp Liberty deserve to live in dignity and without fear of violence,” calling last October’s rocket attacks on unarmed resident of the camp by Iranian government affiliated militia, “the height of cowardice.”
Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC-US) lauds Committee’s leadership on this initiative, and in particular appreciates the efforts of Congressmen Ted Poe (R-TX), for introducing the resolution. Our community is indebted also to the dozens of bi-partisan house members who with their time and efforts have helped ensure better security for the residents and further improved the prospective of safe resettlement for Camp Liberty residents.
The Committee’s expression of solidarity with the Iranian people is in direct contrast to the near record rise in the number of executions in Iran under Rouhani. Despite the nuclear accord’s promises, deterioration of human rights in Iran since, speaks volumes of the fallacy of Iranian government moderation. The unanimous adoption of H.Res.650 on the other hand, is a strong signal that the United States Congress stands with the Iranian people.