On Monday, the Anglo-Iranian communities, supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in the United Kingdom held a protest rally calling on world leaders to end systematic impunity in Iran.
This rally was held simultaneously with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. The NCRI and MEK supporters called on world leaders to hold the Iranian regime to account for decades of crimes against humanity.
The rally and its participants also highlighted the involvement of Tehran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, in the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners. They also highlighted the role of Raisi and other Iran’s top officials in destructing Iran’s environment.
Raisi was scheduled to address the COP26. But he canceled his participation after a group of former political prisoners, survivors, and families of the victims of the 1988 massacre lodged a legal complaint against him in the UK and Scotland under UK’s universal jurisdiction requesting his arrest for ‘crime against humanity’ and ‘genocide’ if attended the UN Summit in Glasgow.
Monday’s rally was also attended by Struan Stevenson, former Scottish MEP and the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC), Mr. Hossain Abedini- the deputy director of the NCRI’s representative office in the UK- and representatives of various Anglo-Iranian associations.
Anglo-Iranians & NCRI supporters hold a rally simultaneous with the #COP26 summit in Glasgow calling on world leaders at the climate change conference to end impunity in #Iran & refer Raisi to ICC for prosecution for for crimes against humanity & genocide #ProsecuteRaisiNOW pic.twitter.com/g6nJOhJiGl
— Dowlat Nowrouzi (@DowlatNowrouzi) November 1, 2021
While referring to Raisi’s decision to not participate in the COP26, Mr. Stevenson said: “When we called on the Scottish Police to arrest Ebrahim Raisi if he dared to set foot in Scotland to attend the COP26 summit, he immediately chickened out and announced that he wasn’t coming.”
Mr. Stevenson underlined that Raisi “realized that, unlike his predecessors, he is unable to travel freely to the West, or indeed to any civilized nation, due to his pariah status as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’.”
Mr. Stevenson also emphasized that the “Iranian economy has collapsed due to corruption and incompetence, and “There is mass unemployment, plummeting household incomes and stagflation 70% of the population now struggle to survive on weekly incomes below the international poverty line.”
“The regime’s economic collapse has been exacerbated by its deliberately bungled handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 460,000 people and is now entering the sixth wave.”
Mr. Stevenson also called the regime’s participation in the COP26 and showing any interest a “joke.”
The head of the regime’s Environmental Protection Agency recently said that an enemy could never have damaged Iran’s natural resources and environment the way the mullahs have. The regime’s rank incompetence, venal corruption, and voracious profiteering have increased the risk and the incidence of natural disasters in Iran,” he said. “The devastating floods, raging forest fires, toxic air pollution, uncontrolled desertification, and grave water shortages have all pushed the Iranian environment to the edge of destruction. The mullahs’ Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are playing a key role in this environmental catastrophe thanks to their institutionalized corruption and destructive policies.”
Mr. Stevenson concluded that the answer to Iran’s crises, and the answer to the security crisis across the Middle East and worldwide, “is the downfall of this regime by the Iranian people and their resistance, for a free and democratic Iran, with a government for, by and of the people.”
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Mr. Hossain Abedini also underlined that “During its 40 year-rule, the religious dictatorship in Iran has not only brought death, misery, and repression to millions of Iranians but has totally destroyed Iran’s environment and plundered the country’s natural resources.”
Mr. Abedini reminded the audience that “Raisi was a member of the Death Commission in the 1988 massacre to implement Khomeini’s fatwa to execute 30,000 PMOI members and sympathizers who remained loyal to the pro-democracy opposition.”
He also referred to Raisi’s role in torturing over 12,000 protesters arrested during the major November 2019 uprising, as he was the regime’s judiciary chief.
By referring to the Iranian people’s ongoing protests he emphasized that “The Iranian people have clearly demonstrated their demands and their resolve for change. They reject the regime in its entirety and are ready for the regime’s overthrow.” He also underlined that “regime change in Iran by the Iranian People and their Resistance is inevitable. A free and democratic Iran is very much within reach and on the horizon.”
At the end of his speech Mr. Abedini, on behalf of all participants and the Iranian Resistance urged “the UK and other Western countries “ to “adopt a firm policy on Iran” that entails the following:
Prosecute Ebrahim Raisi for genocide and crime against humanity in an international court and do it now.
Impose sanctions on Raisi and other regime officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity and genocide under the new Magnistky sanctions.
Proscribe the IRGC in its entirety.