Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This year we join in solidarity once again to remember the deadly rocket attacks on Camp Liberty in 2013 and to demand that the people in Camp Liberty live in safety and security. No longer the targets of terrorist acts. No longer the victims of violence. No longer left unprotected.

I have called on the government of Iraq, the United Nations and the U.S. government again and again to do more to ensure the safety of Camp Liberty residents and to commit to expediting a resettlement process for the dissidents so that they can live and prosper outside of Iraq. I am heartened that foreign governments, U.S. officials, U.N. representatives and Iraqi leaders recognize the tremendous importance that I, along with many others, place on the safety and security of the people of Camp Liberty.

Last year we worked together to ensure that protective walls were installed, sandbags were delivered and security remained a top priority. Now we must not lose sight of the most important challenge: making certain that the MEK residents are safely resettled outside Iraq. This must include a willingness on the part of the United States to demonstrate leadership and accept MEK residents into our own country.

I call on Iraqi officials to do everything in their power to prevent further attacks and to work cooperatively with the U.N., the United States and host nations to assist in a safe, secure and rapid resettlement process.

I also want to acknowledge the important role played by the MEK leadership in exposing the duplicity of the regime in Tehran, and now the important work you are doing to raise awareness of Iran’s nuclear program and covert cooperation.

We all know who ultimately holds power in Iran and who makes decisions.

Iran’s leadership has deliberately armed and trained Iraqi Shia militias to bleed U.S. forces in Iraq. Iran’s leadership is backing a dictator in Syria dropping barrel bombs on his own people and a rebel movement in Yemen that until recently refused to consider any political process that could end the civil strife and human suffering.

Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and this will not change regardless of what happens at the negotiating table in Vienna.

The fact is, Iran is interested in working with us only to the extent that it protects its interests in pursuing its regional hegemonic goals.

That said, the situation in Iraq at the moment is so dangerous that we are concerned that we are going from a weak Iraq to a collapsed state that will be a safe haven for violent extremists. Let us hope and pray that, God willing, that does not happen. I have made clear to U.S. administration officials that, no matter what, the safety and security of the MEK members at Camp Liberty must continue to be a priority. For that, we stand in solidarity today.

• Mr. Menendez is a U.S. senator representing New Jersey and previously served as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. These remarks were adapted from a videotaped message to the June 13 gathering in Paris.

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