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UN to broker deal between Iraq, Iranian exiles

Lara Jakes reports for the Associated Press:

In a last-ditch attempt to head off a confrontation, the top U.N. envoy to Iraq on Thursday offered to broker the peaceful closing of a camp of Iranian exiles before the government in Baghdad forces its residents out at the end of the year.

An aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Iraq's Cabinet would consider easing its deadline if a solution can be agreed on quickly.

At issue is a group of about 3,300 exiles at the remote Camp Ashraf in Iraq's eastern Diyala province who seek the overthrow of Tehran's clerical rulers. Members of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, they won refuge at Ashraf decades ago during the regime of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni who saw them as a convenient ally against Tehran's theocracy.

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