Senator Catherine Noone, from the Fine Gael Party in the Irish Senate (2011-2020) addressed an online panel supporting women’s rights in Iran to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021.
A panel of 30 Members of Parliament and women’s rights activists from the UK and Europe urged their governments to put human rights at the forefront of Iran policy during an online conference sponsored by the British Committee for Iran Freedom on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.
The cross-party speakers called on the UK and EU governments to work together to put pressure on the regime to release all political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, protesters, and dual citizens held under arbitrary charges in Iran, especially the women. Speakers urged the UK and EU to make economic and political relations and agreements with the regime in Tehran contingent upon verifiable improvements in human rights and women’s rights. They stressed that Iran stands on the brink of change as the regime has no solutions to any of the economic and social crises facing it and that growing popular dissent in the country rejects the theocracy in its entirety and demands regime change.
The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, was the keynote speaker at the conference speaking alongside the panelists including several former ministers.
Senator Catherine Noone, from the Fine Gael Party in the Irish Senate (2011-2020)
Good afternoon Madam Rajavi, distinguished guests, and all other women, who are with us today throughout the world. Happy International Women’s Day.
It’s an honor for me to speak at this conference to defend the rights of Iranian women who have been strong enough to resist for so many years to finally sweep the misogynistic Mullahs out of Iran, and I wish them well.
Violence against women is something we all wish to address, especially on International Women’s Day. The situation in Iran, as we all know, is particularly vast, at least a decade of foot dragging in the adoption of any law to protect women from violence has placed Iran at the very top of the list of countries with the highest records of violence against women.
They say and imagine this, they say that 66% of Iranian women experienced violence in their lifetime. That’s just staggering. Women’s security and equality, freedom and social justice will never be realized in Iran under the Mullahs misogynistic regime. Why? Because violence against women is effectively sponsored by the government, and it is in the law, it is institutionalized by the law.
Iranian women are smart enough not to believe the empty promises of the regime, instead, as other speakers have alluded to, they spearhead and lead the protest to overthrow the misogynistic regime, and courageously pay the price for doing so.
It’s great to see you, Madame Rajavi, and I’m very pleased to meet you in Paris a couple of years ago. I admire you for the strong resistance you have built up through all of the ups and downs and always moving towards final victory, and you have my full support.
I’ve been informed today of a meeting that our foreign minister attended in Iran. In fact, he’s just back and I spoke to him today, because I, like others, was very concerned to hear about this.
And it’s important to emphasize that that meeting was in the context of Ireland’s role on the Security Council, we’re a new member of the Security Council. And there’s even in the context of nuclear security.
And I think above all, one thing we all want to ensure is that Iran does not become a nuclear power. And this is an agreement that was put in place some years ago that Trump had done away with, and now the Biden administration that is keen to reactivate and reestablish, and it is purely from a security point of view.
For a while, Minister Coveney was there because I, like many other Irish politicians, since I’ve known Hussein and since he’s come to Dublin to visit us, and since we’ve gone to different events in Paris, and other places, we have all emphasized the Human Rights atrocities that we have learned about and that we are so aware of. And he was very mindful of that.
When making his trip, he told me that during his meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister there, that he raised the issue of women and their treatments in particular, and minors and the LGBT community.
So, I was very glad to hear that, and it certainly means that your efforts in working with us politicians throughout the world that they are not in vain and that that message was brought by our minister to Iran to the regime to let them know that it is not acceptable, their treatments and the way that they conduct their regime.
So, I just like to again say a very Happy International Women’s Day to the women, especially the Iranian women on this conference, and women throughout the world. We support you in your endeavors. And it’s an honor to speak with you today. Thank you.