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Remarks by Matthew Offord–Free Iran Global Summit, July 17, 2020

Every year, the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) holds major gatherings supporting the Iranian people’s struggle for a free Iran. Given the novel coronavirus outbreak, this year’s conference was held online, connecting 30,000 locations in 104 countries, an unprecedented event since the beginning of the world’s health crisis.

Hundreds of prominent dignitaries from around the world took part in the event. They announced their support for the Iranian people’s desire for freedom, justice, equality, and the rule of law. Among the attendants was the UK House of Commons member Dr. Matthew Offord.

Dr. Offord cited a recent statement by the British Committee for Iran Freedom, singed by 120 MPs, showing support for the Iranian people’s anti-regime protests and Resistance Leader Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan for a Free Iran. Furthermore, in his remarks, Dr. Offord called for the British government and others to join with the US administration’s maximum pressure campaign against the mullahs to deny them the money used for terrorism and repression. He said:

Great pleasure to be able to speak with you today. But allow me to begin by sending my regards to the people of Iran who are currently suffering under their regime. And I can also express my solidarity with them as they are faced with a vicious crackdown, persecution, as they simply demand change in their country.  

In a recent statement on Iran, 120 members of the House of Commons and the House of Parliament declared their support for the popular protest in Iran against corruption and suppression and supported a ten-point plan for a future free Iran presented by NCRI president-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

Tehran’s destabilizing activities from Syria to Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, its support for terrorism, and last but not least at all, the actions against Iranian dissidents in Europe and the pursuit of a nuclear and ballistic missile program, all which violates the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the UN arms embargo against Iran, the nuclear deal, and counterterrorism laws in the United Kingdom.

They are all well-documented in recent statements by the UN Secretary-General, the IAEA, and many Western governments. That is why I call on the UK government to join the maximum pressure campaign on the regime. This campaign has already denied Tehran billions of dollars they could have used otherwise to destabilize parts of the Middle East and further afield. But thanks to this pressure, Tehran is losing ground in places like Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.  

But the UK government should also work with allies in the EU and the UN in order that we support an immediate extension to the UN arms embargo against Iran, as well as the reimposition of international and UN sanctions against Tehran that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal.

Furthermore, the UK should proscribe the entirety of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] as a foreign terrorist organization to deny it the funds it needs to suppress the people of Iran and to export terrorism abroad.

The international community has a responsibility and the means to deny Iran’s regime the funds it needs to continue its unacceptable and malign behavior both at home and abroad. To muster the political courage to do that, the international community should look to the Iranian people and to their resistance movement led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi who has shown the way.  

So, the time is now, here. The time is now ready for change. The time is now for us all to say hazer, hazer, hazer.

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