Thursday, September 11, 2008

White House Rally for Camp Ashraf

Arkansas Democrat Gazette
September 11, 2008

By Alex Daniels

Hooshang Nazarali, a store owner in Crosses, in Madison County, was in Washington on Monday to draw attention to the treatment of Iranian nationals held in Iraq.

Nazarali, who came to the United States from Iran in 1977, before that country's Islamic revolution, marched with about 1,000 fellow demonstrators around the White House and listened to speeches in Lafayette Park, across the street from the presidential residence.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 members of the Muhajadine Khalq (the Muslim Iranian Student's Society, or MEK) Organization, which advocates the overthrow of the Iranian regime, are being held in Ashraf, a large protected compound in Iraq. The group is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations.

Currently, the Iranians in Ashraf are under U.S. jurisdiction and are protected under the Geneva Conventions.

Nazarali warned that if Iraq were to take over the compound, they would send them over the Iranian border where they would likely be "slaughtered." He argued that the State Department should remove the MEK from its list of terrorist organizations.

"They're the only group that's stood up to the Iranian government," he said.