Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Iran exiles in Iraq say relatives arrested in Tehran

Iraq-based Iranian opposition exiles accused Tehran on Sunday of arresting their family members as they tried to leave Iran to visit them. A spokesman for the exiles said about 20 relatives had been detained by Iranian authorities at Tehran's airport on Saturday while trying to fly to Iraq with valid visas. "They have also raided houses. Now there is no news from the relatives," Shahriar Kia, a spokesman for the group, said by telephone from Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad, home to about 3,500 exiled members of the People's Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI). Iranian government officials in Tehran were not immediately available for comment. PMOI members -- who had the support of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein -- say they fear the Iraqi government will try to expel them. U.S. forces transferred control of the camp to the Iraqi government at the start of this year. Iraq says it wants to close the camp but will not force residents to leave. Iraq and the United States consider the PMOI to be a terrorist group. The group says it has renounced violence.
World Bulletin