Excerpts of the speeches of the British MPs and Prominent Figures at the Free Iran 2022 are as follows:
Lord Henry Bellingham, Member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom
My name is Henry Bellingham. I’m a very strong supporter of the NCRI. I do wish you well in making the case for a free and democratic Iran. A time when Iran was facing vast numbers of incredibly serious geopolitical problems.
The rest, in the last needs friends. We do not need road regimes like the one in Iran that is supporting terrorism. And I think that the one ingredient in all of this that’s so often forgotten about and lost in the discussion are the wishes of the Iranian people, the wishes of the people of Iran. Those wishes are absolutely paramount. And we know that they’ve been ignored, they’re far too wrong, they’ve been trampled on, they’ve been cast to one side.
And I know that people of Iran, it’s a country that I wish I knew better. But I have been to Iran, and I know many Iranians, both in Iran and in exile. And I know that they want to keep their religious traditions, they want to keep many of their historic traditions, but they also want basic freedoms. They do want to live their lives in fear. They want to grow up in a way where they can travel, where they can actually go, hold their head high as Iranians and not be citizens of a pariah state.
We’re going to make progress here is for having a proper opposition. And the NCRI is the opposition in exile that is doing a huge amount to promote the credentials of their calls. Which is a free, democratic Iran that can once again take its place in the world stage. Not sponsor terrorism in Europe and elsewhere.
Not support other causes that are hugely detrimental to the rest of the world people. For the most important, but also for the interests of my own country in Europe, I wish you a …Conference and real campaign to win in the end. Thank you.
Sir Roger Gale, UK MP, and Former President of the Council of Europe—Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Madam President-elect, ladies, and gentlemen, it’s a huge privilege for me to address your conference today. I’d like to start by absorbing the work of the NCRI, both overseas and in Iran, to combat the development of nuclear weapons and the terrorism that the regime is seeking to perpetrate, while the world’s attention is distracted by events in Ukraine. And as well, without that work on behalf of the people of Iran, this case would go unheard.
There is, of course, the ordinary people of Iran who suffer most from the oppression of the regime. The House of Commons Select Committee for Foreign Affairs has made it clear that it is time for the regime to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation and I endorse that view entirely.
And it is clear also that in the next round of magnetic sanctions, full attention must be paid to the practises of some people in the regime in Iran.
Dear friends in the parliament of the United Kingdom, including myself, through our others, to see to make sure that happens. I wish you well today.
Dr. Matthew Offord, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Ladies and gentlemen, we know in 2018, when many of us were in Paris, we are subject to an attack almost on a very close level. On that occasion, myself and four other parliamentarians from the British Parliament could have been killed or injured and indeed many of you here today could have been the same. And I’m also very upset that deals have been made to ensure that those that perpetrated the attack or possible attack will be able to go back to Tehran in the near future.
I’ve certainly condemned this action with the UK government and will continue to do so. There should be an alternative to any regime or any political grouping throughout the United Kingdom and throughout the international community.
There is a right for the PMOI to exist and to stand against the regime in Tehran. We all know the faults of the regime in Tehran, but for me, it’s unacceptable for them to be exporting their terrorism onto mainland Europe. They’ve already done so in countries such as Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. And we know that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action did not address the issue of human rights in Iran. It allowed monies, resources, manpower to go into conflicts and to spread terrorism and evil around the world.
In the United Kingdom. Myself, Steve and other colleagues are pushing the UK government upon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. But in addition, we are also pushing the government for the recognition of the 1988 massacre. And indeed, here with me, I have a copy of an early day motion signed by members of the UK Parliament and I would like Madame Rajavi to come up and accept it from me here today.
Our motion says that the UK parliament recognises and supports justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre and recognised that 30,000 political prisoners were massacred based on a Fatwa by Iran’s supreme Leader Khomeini, primarily targeted at the PMOI. It also recalls that Amnesty International has identified President Ebrahim Raisi as a member of the 1988 death squad and executions. We will not forget we will not forget what’s happened in the past, we will not forget what’s happened in the recent past.
Steve McCabe, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Madame Rajavi, I’m going to say a few very quick words because I think Matthew has said everything that I’d want to say. First of all, I’d like to thank you for the inspiration speech at the beginning. Now I’ve seen here Ashraf-3. This is my first time here, Madame Rajavi.
I’ve seen the determination, the resolve and the fantastic achievements of the Iranian Resistance Movement. I want to congratulate you on this wonderful achievement at Ashraf-3.
And I know the kind of Iran that you will be able to build when that day comes, when there’s a free Iran that we can all celebrate.
And I say this to the Mullahs Don’t take on that young generation who are challenging you now because they’re smarter than you, they’re wiser than you, they’re more determined than you, and they’re going to outwit you. If you’ve got any sense, give up now, because there will be a free Iran. Thank you.
Mark Williams, Former Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Sadly, for the first time in a number of years, I’m not able to be with our friends. We’ve had the meetings in Paris or indeed in Tirana. But I look forward once again joining and showing support for or Maryam Rajavi and her ten-point plan for Iran’s future. Centerfold in the plan is a vision of complete gender equality, recognising the leadership of women in politics and all aspects of life and society. No surprise that the Iranian resistance has been led by women for more than four decades.
And that embodies their plan giving voice to the most oppressed section of Iranian society, namely women. The regime in Iran, cannot by its very nature moderate its behaviour because it needs repression, and it needs terrorism to survive. Iranian people now want change as judged by the countless demonstrations and bravery of campaigners’ people that want not hollow reform, but want real, meaningful change from their resistance movement led by women. The Iranian regime, in their desperation, may try to characterise our great movement of Iranians around the world and within the country as some kind of historic monarchistic group. We’re seeking to turn the clock back.
But now our movement campaigns for a new Iran. A democratic, free, secular Iran in which the wishes of everybody, the rights of everybody, are wholly respected. And there’s no doubt that the ruling regime in Iran remains a serious threat to the international community. Whether it’s the nuclear escalation towards acquiring nuclear weapons to its ballistic missile programme, or its exporting of terrorism to Europe, or support for terrorist groups around the world. The one conclusion today is that the wellbeing and prosperity of the Iranian people converges with the security interests of Europe and the international community.
Simply put, the people of Iran and those of us in the international community have a common enemy. Now impunity in Iran will never end without international intervention and a meaningful international accountability process. Any further delay in this regard, giving the growing evidence of the involvement of the regime’s leaders in serious human rights abuses and the role of Iranian diplomats in terrorism risks to undermine the global rule-based order and damage the West’s credibility as a force for human rights around the world. And me, like many of you, first joined our campaign for a new, secular, free and democratic Iran because of our belief in the most basic human rights, so blatantly and frequently ignored by the Iranian government. The regime’s state terrorism must be taken seriously by the European countries.
And we cannot have a situation where the regime in Iran and its agents, and indeed its diplomats, are allowed to escape accountability because of political considerations or convenience. They need to be treated as other terrorists and other criminals are treated. Now, as the UN special Rapporteur for Iran has publicly called on the United Nations and its member states to secure accountability in Iran, to end the culture of impunity that exists in that country still resolved to do what I can, and many others resolved also to do what they can to present the choice, the choice before the world, which is clear. Stand with the people of Iran, the Iranian diaspora throughout the world, the brave campaigners within the country. Stand with the people of Iran, wherever they are and their resistance.
Because their final victory over the regime is not just a final and necessary victory for the people of Iran, but a victory for the world, for world peace and security in Europe and across the world. Thank you.
Sir Geoffrey Bindman, British Solicitor Specialising in Human Rights Law
It is evident that those who are ruling Iran are responsible for serious human rights violations and crimes against humanity. They have turned the judiciary into an instrument of repression, a tool to eliminate prodemocracy dissidents and indeed all opposition. I applaud the global campaign led by the President of the Iranian Resistance, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, to end the culture of impunity and secure justice in Iran. The international community must secure an independent international investigation into the massacre of political prisoners in Iran’s prisons in 1988 and the killing of 1500 protesters during nationwide protests in November 2019.
The involvement of Iran’s current leaders in these crimes is well documented by the United Nations, by NGOs, including Amnesty International. The call for justice was also recently backed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, whose mandate was determined by the UN Human Rights Council, with UK support.
I urge the UK government to add its weight to the campaign led by Mrs. Rajavi. Delay in doing so will not only embolden the regime to continue its crackdown on popular protests and civil society, but we also undermine our rule based international order and make a mockery of international law.
The UK government has a moral and legal responsibility to act in support of the Iranian people in their struggle for justice. The regime’s leaders must be held to account in an international forum. Thank you very much.