During a conference held in the United Kingdom’s Parliament on November 28, David Jones, Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group in the House of Commons and co-president of the British Committee for Iran Freedom, emphasized the imperative to counter the Iranian regime’s aggressive actions in both the UK and the Middle East.
Jones brought attention to the regime’s repression and warmongering, urging the UK government to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Additionally, he expressed support for the democratic platform of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Jones underscored that the geopolitical struggle is between the Iranian regime and its people, advocating for Western support for the NCRI in their pursuit of establishing a democratic republic.
The full text of MP David Jones’ speech follows:
David Jones: The Real Geopolitical Battle is between The Regime and the Iranian People and their Organized Resistance Movement
Well, colleagues, good afternoon or good morning, depending on where in the world you are. My name is David Jones, and I am the co-president of the British Committee for Iran Freedom.
Welcome both physically and virtually to Parliament and to our meeting, and a particular welcome to our two distinguished guests from the United States, Ambassador Bloomfield and Senator Claudia Chirley.
Welcome, and we look forward to hearing from you later in this meeting. Today, we will be focusing on Iranian law and order and on how to counter the aggression of the Iranian regime.
And we have a cross-party panel of experts on Iran and Middle Eastern affairs, who will be discussing the threats posed by the regime and the future of Iran and, indeed, the wider region.
And I’m pleased to say that we will also be shortly having a video message from Madam Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. I want to outline the challenges to the United Kingdom and other Western nations that arise from the regime’s activities and recommend policy responses to steer the Middle East away from war and towards stability and democratic progress.
Before I invite other colleagues to make their contributions, I would like to make a few opening remarks myself.
We are now standing at a crucial moment in the history of the Middle East following the unfolding conflict that started on the 7th of October with the brutal slaughter of some 1,500 Israeli civilians by Hamas.
At the same time, one of the most important countries in the region, Iran, is at a crossroads following a year of sustained popular uprising against the regime. Despite a violent state response and a record number of executions in a country that already, per capita, executes more of its own citizens than any other.
And I believe it’s essential to understand that the Iranian regime’s savagery is a sign of its weakness rather than its strength. The regime is trying to export its crisis of survival at home in the face of growing popular dissent and demands for genuine democratic change.
Many have wrongly interpreted the increasingly bellicose stance of the regime as a sign of its strength and part of the natural tendency of what is regarded as a regional superpower to seek to increase its sphere of influence.
And this, I suggest, is in all probability the main reason for the United States and the United Kingdom’s soft-line approach to Iran. The regime’s barely disguised warmongering serves several immediate purposes.
Firstly, it provides cover for its domestic repression and diverts international attention from its appalling human rights record and suppression of the popular uprising.
Secondly, it gives the regime the opportunity to gain political and diplomatic legitimacy on the international and regional stage instead of being rejected for what it is, as a pariah state.
Thirdly, it allows the regime to use the conflict in the Middle East, waged by its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, to create division within Western democracies along religious and ideological lines, as indeed we are witnessing in the United Kingdom at the moment.
And fourthly, it allows the regime to exploit the emerging divisions with Western democracies to facilitate terrorist attacks, especially targeting critics, proponents of a firm policy and members of the Iranian democratic opposition.
Briefly put, the regime wants to generate sufficient instability and chaos to hold the United Kingdom and its international allies hostage. It would be a huge mistake to underestimate this threat that is posed to the UK and its allies by the Iranian regime, as indeed both MI5 and the Home Office’s Independence Adviser on Extremism, [inaudible], have warned.
The British government has taken several encouraging steps to address the Iranian regime’s terrorism threats and its malign activities following the 2022 uprising. Indeed, many of them were those recommended by our cross-party colleagues in the People’s Committee for Iran Freedom at a conference in January 2020, following the waves of popular protests in Iran since December of 2017.
But those steps have not had the desired outcome and have proven to be insufficient because the two most important steps are missing. Firstly, the proscription of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC, as a terrorist organization.
A course that is supported overwhelmingly by all parties in the House of Commons, with similar strong support from within the House of Lords. Secondly, and perhaps the determining factor, which is our government’s failure to acknowledge the existence of a domestic Iranian solution, a democratic alternative.
And the NCRI is the Iranian democratic solution. This is my understanding of working with them closely on Iranian matters. They’ve always maintained that the Iranian people seek and struggle for a free, democratic and secular republic.
This is now clear to the entire world, even to the proponents of the failed soft-line approach. Mrs. Rajavi has put forward a Ten-Point Plan for Iran’s future that captures and sets out this democratic aspiration of the Iranian people.
And her leadership was reflected by the brave women leading the uprising and the anti-regime protests last year and earlier this year. Now, as we move forward, countering the Iran regime’s aggression requires our government to recognize and support that democratic alternative.
And the importance of this was best expressed by Mrs. Rajavi herself, who in her message to a meeting at Parliament last month said, and I quote, “The regime has been the most significant obstacle to Middle East peace over the past three decades. I have emphasized many times from two decades ago that the regime’s warmongering in the region is 100 times more dangerous than its nuclear program.”
So colleagues, what happens next in Iran will materially affect the future of the Middle East.
The real geopolitical battle now is between the Iranian regime and the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement, the NCRI. And our own security and economic interest, indeed, that of the entire West, is in the Iranian people and the NCRI prevailing in that struggle. Therefore, the solution is before us.
It’s time to act to ensure that that victory comes sooner rather than later. We don’t need to engage militarily. We need to recognize the NCRI endorse its democratic platform and back the Iranian people in their fight for a democratic republic and indeed for justice.
And I believe that a free Iran has never been more within reach than it is today. Thank you all. And now I look forward, I’m sure we all look forward, to hearing a video message from Mrs Rajavi. Thank you.