Exclusive Live Report: British Lawmakers Express Support for Iran Uprising and Resistance
On Thursday, November 24, in a cross-party initiative, British lawmakers joined a conference on Iran’s ongoing nationwide uprising and supported the Iranian people and their organized Resistance movement in their quest for liberty and democracy.
This event had Mrs. Marayam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), as its keynote speaker. British prominent lawmakers and distinguished politicians joined this conference and expressed their utter support of the Iranian people’s democratic revolution while renouncing any form of dictatorship in the future of Iran.
Anna Firth, British MP from the Conservative Party, opened this meeting:
“Today is the International Day for the elimination of violence against women. So, it could not be timelier for us to be having this conference today. The murder of Mahsa Amini but in mid-September sent shock waves around the world, and since then, we’ve seen over 60,000 people in Iran arrested, and we know of some 14,000 detentions and, of course, the Sunday before last, we heard the tragic news that the Iranian regime had sentenced a protester to death; an action that this UK government condemns in the absolute strongest terms.”
.@Anna_Firth: I welcome the fact that the UK government announced the second round of human rights sanctions against 24 Iranian officials last Monday. But I would like to see the immediate removal of Iran from the UNCSW. #IranRevoIution https://t.co/qy29qFHjIu
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) November 24, 2022
“These are vitally important issues. Women’s rights are human rights and I’m encouraged by the cross-party attendance and the very strong and distinguished lineup of speakers today which reflects the strong widespread support for the brave women and girls of Iran in both Houses of the UK parliament. I’m looking forward to hearing their remarks and recommendations but first, it’s my huge pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran Mrs. Mariam Rajavi.”
“We’re delighted Mrs. Rajavi, that you’re joining us virtually from Paris to brief us on the ongoing protests and speak about women’s struggles for freedom democracy, and human rights in Iran.”
Conference of the British Committee for Iran Freedom Parliamentary group:
Iranian People’s Nationwide Protests:
No to misogynist regime,Yes to Democratic Republic#IranRevolutionhttps://t.co/BGlOiF7O6K
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) November 24, 2022
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran:
“Honorable Members of the UK Parliament,
It is a pleasure to talk with you, and thank you for your kind introduction.
We are holding this conversation while the great nationwide uprising of the Iranian people to overthrow religious fascism has reached Day 70.
Today, the UN Human Rights Council is holding its special session on Iran’s worsening human rights situation.”
“Formation of a fact-finding mission regarding the brutal crackdown on the protests and holding to account those responsible for these crimes are necessary.
The Iranian uprising in these two months has made clear its features, goal, and the model it seeks for the country’s future after the mullahs’ overthrow.”
“The protests have roots in Iranian society’s desire for freedom, justice, and liberation of Iranian women.
They rely on the Iranian people’s resolve to overthrow the mullahs’ regime and are not influenced by any foreign power.”
“The regime has made all its efforts to stop the uprising; however, it has failed so far to achieve its goal due to two factors: first, the explosive conditions in the society, and second, the role of the Resistance Units and the PMOI’s network inside Iran in organizing the uprisings.”
“Our people want to overthrow the entire regime. Therefore, they seek to destroy the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the regime’s backbone and its main force in charge of killing people.
The Iranian people have expressed their desired alternative in their uprising and chants. That alternative has the following features:
1. It rejects the rule of religious tyranny.
2. It promotes the establishment of a democratic republic and rejects a return to the shah’s dictatorship.
3. It is committed to gender equality and rejects forced veiling and all forms of misogyny.
4. It emphasizes the separation of religion and state. Believing or not believing in a religion should not cause any privilege or discrimination against any citizen. Sunni and Shia are brothers and sisters.
5. It defends the freedoms and equal rights of oppressed nationalities with autonomy within Iran’s borders.
6. Different parts of Iranian society have different beliefs, religions, languages, and nationalities. But today, they are united in the struggle to overthrow the regime and rebuild tomorrow’s free Iran.”
“A democratic revolution is in the making in Iran, and religious fascism is on its last leg.
The decisive force in Iran is the force of the Iranian people and their uprisings. The ruling regime has resorted to widespread arrests and killings, but it cannot change the course of the uprisings.
If domestic suppression or warmongering abroad, using missiles and drones, had been effective, the uprisings could not start or continued.
International policies towards Iran have always suffered from a fundamental lack because they ignore the role of the Iranian people. Western governments’ assessment is also incorrect because of their economic interests, a view that still dominates their policy.”
“Any government will be on the side of the Iranian people only when it recognizes the uprising to overthrow the regime and rejects the force of repression that is the IRGC.
So long as western governments do not take these two basic steps, the regime will use this situation to have an open hand in slaughtering people.
The Iranian people and protesters urge both houses of the British Parliament to lead a bold initiative to encourage the UK government to take these two necessary steps.
I appreciate your efforts in supporting the Iran uprising.”
Rt Hon Theresa Villiers, British MR, Former UK Secretary of State for Environment and Northern Ireland:
“I’m very pleased to be able to be here. This conference on the situation in Iran and efforts around the world are being made in this era to track down violence against women and girls. It is of huge concern that we see these gross human rights violations perpetrated against women in Iran. So I am here to support those brave women who have been speaking out. Those who’ve been protesting for 70 days now following the appalling death of Mahsa Amini and their courage really is just incredible.”
Rt Hon Theresa Villiers: We share the aspirations of brave Iranian protesters, and I want to see that reflected in the robust approach from our government.#IranRevolution https://t.co/ilPg852Nyv
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) November 24, 2022
“I believe that what we all here want to see is Iran to move towards a free and democratic future. We share the aspirations of those brave protesters and I want to see that reflected in the robust approach from our UK government.”
“I welcome the sanctions imposed by the United Kingdom government in relation to the death of Mahsa Amini. I myself sponsored an urgent question in parliament so that we could question the ministers on their response and urge them to give this every seriousness in UK foreign policy. I think it is important that we see a dossier of human rights abuses committed by the mullahs in Iran referred to the UN Security Council as part of increased diplomatic pressure both from our government here and hopefully also working with its international partners to make clear how intolerable we believe the situation in Iran is. I think as part of that diplomatic pressure, we should see the shutdown of the political office of the supreme leader, the Islamic center in Maida Vale. I find it astonishing that this is allowed to continue, the fact that it even apparently received COVID assistance and furlough grants.”
Jim Shannon, British MP from the Democratic Unionist Party:
“I’ve always supported the group of people who are protesting against the regime in Iran and that’s a pleasure for me to come along. President-elect Madam Rajavi, it’s good to be with you today, and thank you for organizing this event.
.@JimShannonMP: I wanted to be here to express my support for the Iranian people and their organized resistance which has been phenomenal.#IranRevoIution https://t.co/jioIrUBAlv
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) November 24, 2022
“It’s a real pleasure and a real privilege to be here. The stance that you’ve taken and support the people of Iran. So, I wanted to be here to express my support for the Iranian people, and their organized resistance, which has been phenomenal to you Madam Rajavi. Because you are truly fighting the good fight. The woman of Iran is now in the first line of the anti-regime protests to demand their freedoms, their rights, and genuine change.”
“As the chair of the all-party parliamentary group Freedom of Religious Belief, what we started for those with Christian belief, those with other beliefs, and those with no belief, we are very clear on where we stand. I very much want to be here to speak to them as a man of faith myself and as a Christian. I find it absolutely abhorrent that the regime in Tehran allows itself to decide to persecute citizens for “waging war against God”, only because they protest the regime’s repression. I’m afraid that this will continue as long as the current regime is in power.
“I believe our interventions should be on the basis of helping the people and the women of Iran to secure justice and bring about accountability, which is so important. So, I want to associate myself with these demands of Madam Rajavi. I want to ask our government to be proactive at the UN and other international forums to have the UN investigate the atrocities and the killings of protesters in Iran and prosecute regimes leaders and others responsible at an international tribunal.”
Prof Lord Alton, Crossbench Peer Member of the House of Lords:
“It’s a great pleasure to follow my colleagues from the House of Commons. We are in the presence of one of the bravest women in the world today. Someone I’ve admired for the last three decades and it’s always wonderful to see you Madam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance movement.”
.@DavidAltonHL: Britain has the best position to secure an independent human rights investigation and subsequent prosecution, given our respective voice globally and our seats both at the UNSC and the UNHRC. #IranRevoIution https://t.co/RR8sI3IeFF
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) November 24, 2022
“It’s a great honor to join you and to declare my support for those brave people and for the women who’ve taken the lead in this continuing uprising. This is a struggle for democracy. It’s a struggle for the rule of law. It’s a struggle for human rights. It is the battle between dictatorship and democracy.”
“Our strength is the rule of law. It is enforcing international law and international human rights law. If we do that, totalitarian tyrannical dictatorships like the regime in Iran will certainly lose. The mullahs thrive only if there is no rule of law and under the culture of impunity. Today’s historic session on Iran at the United Nations Human Rights Council is a great step in this regard.”
“Madam Rajavi has stressed that the elimination of state violence in Iran requires accountability and I earnestly and strongly support her call for a referral of the regime’s human rights dossier to the United Nations Security Council so that justice and prosecution of the regime’s leaders and officials responsible for decades of criminality and crimes of humanity can be pursued. Our government and the European Union know exactly who these officials are because they impose human rights sanctions against them.”
“Iran’s future is with the NCRI, with Madame Rajavi, and with Iran’s women and youth who are protesting on the streets. Not with the criminal regime that kills them to stay in power.”
“I, therefore, urge our government to stand with Madame Rajavi and the brave people of Iran so that their revolution is victorious like we promised and are doing in Ukraine.”
“I want to see the NCRI succeed in their efforts to end the religious dictatorship in Iran. I want to see the establishment of the true, free, democratic, and secular Republic based on the democratic platform that Madam Rajavi has presented so consistently over these years. A platform that guarantees an Iran where leaders are elected by people in free and fair elections.”
Lord Turnberg, Member of the House of Lords:
“Everyone knows that the current regime in Iran is a danger to the world and a large sponsor of terrorism abroad. It creates havoc in the region, and in the countries around it. It is a danger to Israel, always promoting terrorism in that region. But most of all, it’s a danger to the Iranian people the Iranian.”
“The Iranian people and the women, in particular, are suffering more than anyone else. This is a dreadful situation. We must do more. We must do more in whatever way we can to remove this horrendous regime. So, I praise Madam Rajavi for all her work and for the organization which brought us together today.”
Lord Bellingham, member of the House of Lords, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific from 2010-2012:
“I’ve always taken a great interest in your country Madam Rajavi and I’d just like to say really five quick points. I think that what happened with the start of those female protests, the students and the school children, really has actually littered the torch of freedom. Over years, we have seen many appalling incidents of brutality in your country. But on many of those occasions, the silent majority stayed quiet because there were frightened. They were uneasy. They wanted to get on with their lives. But I think this has really turned out to be an inflection point, not just in terms of the way in which the country in Iran is obviously now coming together. But also in the way in which the entire world is now looking at what’s happening. These young women have provided extraordinary inspiration. I think that combined with your leadership, this is something that we can look upon and we can also be incredibly proud of what you have done.”
“I think it’s incredibly important that both Houses of Parliament really do make every effort to keep up the pressure on Iran. I think that there are some practical issues as well that can be looked at very carefully. I think one is the role of the Iranian embassy here in the UK. The Iranian embassy is doing a number of nefarious things in this country, not least promoting organizations. I think we need to keep a very close eye on what is actually happening within the Iranian diplomatic mission here in this country.”
“My message is very simple: we’re 100% behind you. I think your great country has reached a turning point and I think the turning points are incredibly important. But only if the world and your friends react accordingly and see this as a historic, as a great opportunity, to really make sure that this regime does start to fall and crumble and we have a democracy in its place.”
Lord Polak, Member of the House of Lords:
“It is time we finally proscribed the IRGC in this country. The IRGC is the parent body of Hezbollah. We proscribed Hezbollah. I will continue to call for the IRGC designation but the key reason we’re here today this is to talk about the brave women of Iran. I called on the government to take immediate action to remove Iran from the UN Commission on women’s rights. It is totally ridiculous, it’s incredibly concerning that Iran was ever elected to the UN’s top women’s rights body, and raises larger questions and concerns of how the UN actually allowed this to happen. It is also concerning that there was no response to this appointment despite Iran’s flagrant violations of women’s rights.”
LORD POLAK: IT IS TIME WE FINALLY PRESCRIBED THE IRGC IN THIS COUNTRY. IRGC IS THE PARENT BODY OF HEZBOLLAH, WHICH WE HAVE PRESCRIBED. WE HAVE LEFT THE PARENT BODY UNTOUCHED. WE MUST DO IT AND CONTINUE CALLING FOR IT. #IRANREVOIUTION HTTPS://T.CO/287PE2SYS8
— NCRI-FAC (@IRAN_POLICY) NOVEMBER 24, 2022
“It’s taken far too long for the international community to condemn Iran’s treatment of women and now that it has happened, we must ensure the momentum continues. I understand that the UN Human Rights Council will actually be discussing this in December. It will be shameful if any UN member will vote in favor of keeping Iran on that body. One hopes that before the end of this year, they will. I’m always keen on action and not talk. Let’s have this action. Let’s ban the IRGC and let’s get Iran off the United Nations Women’s Organization.”
Anthea McIntyre, former MEP and former vice-president of the Conservative Party:
“I’m really pleased to once again have the opportunity to support the Iranian Resistance movement. For a number of years, we criticized the way that the European Union pursued a friendly relationship with Iran and the mullah’s regime. I remember being appalled at the way the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini frequently went to Iran, capitalizing on the Ayatollahs.”
“I welcome what’s been happening in Iran for the past two months, with young women bravely leading the nationwide protests. The remarkable misogyny has been one of the main characteristics of the ruling theocracy and women have been suppressed and deprived of their most rudimentary rights. Thousands of them over the years have been executed. But the world has witnessed a different Iran for the past two months, with young women in the streets and universities, even in high schools, very courageously challenging that fundamentalist regime. They are heralding a new era of course.”
“We cannot be silent in the light of these gross violations of the most basic human rights. As Iranians are holding their ground in the endeavor to establish a democratic Republic, there are growing signs that the protests have some organization as the state media officials keep repeating. The Iranian opposition People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran and their Resistance Units are playing an active role. The Iranian women have played a key role in the Resistance in the past four decades and Mariam Rajavi has always been an amazingly staunch advocate of freedom and gender equality in Iran.”
“She has been paving the way for the women of Iran in their struggle for freedom and I pay great tribute to all that she has done. We should all be on the side of the Iranian people in general and the Iranian women in particular. They are making history before our eyes and they will hold the ayatollahs to account.”
“We should immediately proscribe the IRGC in its entirety and call it out for what it is, a terrorist entity. We should also close Iranian embassies and expel the regime from all international organizations and bodies.”
Bob Blackman, British MP from Conservative Party:
“I would want to hold a debate in parliament about what we should be doing and how we confront the regime of the mullahs and bring it to an end and restore democracy to Iran. We know of course that the regime is using live ammunition on the streets of Iran to kill defenseless women and children.
“We must above all else prevent the regime from acquiring nuclear weapons and so that is something that we seek to do now. We are united cross-party in this parliament on the side of the Iranian people. We are against the regime and I think that’s very important that we maintain it. I’m delighted that our ministers in the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office are on the same page and I understand that at the United Nations Human Rights Council, there will be a call for an investigation into the activities of the Iranian government.”
“As the Iranian people chant on the streets “Death to Khamenei”, “Death to the oppressor, whether it’s the Shah or the leader”, the reality is we must recognize what’s going on in Iran, that is a revolution of the people. I think we must work to establish that as literally those very brave individuals, be they men, women or children, standing up against oppression, risking their lives on the streets. We need to make sure that their resistance is not crushed by the IRGC and the so-called morality police, or any other aspects of the authoritarian regime.”
“I tabled an early day motion during the last parliamentary session, which was signed by 47 other colleagues, which is a very good representation of the position for a UN Commission of Inquiry into the 1988 massacre. The current president of Iran was one of the prosecutors in leading to 30,000 people being murdered because of their political views.”
“We also have to take action against the Iranian embassies and officials. In 2018, there was an attempt to murder Mrs. Rajavi at the conference that we have on an annual basis. I was about two rows behind Mrs. Rajavi. At the time, a bomb was transferred by an Iranian diplomat using diplomatic bags. That demonstrates that we cannot trust Iranian officials. We should be closing the embassies. We should be prescribing the IRGC in their entirety and then we could get to a point of further sanctions.”
Baroness Eaton, Member of the House of Lords:
“I’m absolutely delighted and thoroughly encouraged by hearing the recommendations from you and colleagues about what can be done towards ending prevailing state of violence against women in Iran. There are concrete and articulated options before the United Kingdom and the international community. Our government, our allies and the international partners only need to muster the political courage to implement these concrete recommendations. I suggest that they look to the brave women and girls of Iran for inspiration and courage.”
“I agree completely with the need for an independent international investigation and prosecution of perpetrators to address the killing of protesters and the suppression and systematic discrimination against women in Iran. I call an our government to use the available UN mechanisms to work and cooperate with Mrs. Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance movement in order to make sure the regime’s leaders are brought to justice and answer for their crimes against humanity.”
“For me, the regime in Iran is synonymous with misogyny. It is an affront to the women of Iran and women everywhere that the regime holds the seat at the UN Women’s Committee. Our government must make it a top priority to get the regime’s membership suspended and have the mullah’s representative expelled from this committee. Frankly, the UN General Secretary and responsible UN organs ought to have done something about that a long time ago before losing so much credibility. And why not go a step further and expel the regime in Tehran entirely from the UN until it stops the killings, executions, and releases all those detained political prisoners?”
“As long as there is no international commitment to secure justice for the victims, the regime and authorities in Iran will continue to oppress the women and people and violently silence any form of dissent, as evident by the last 43 years. Our government and international partners must therefore recognize the right of the Iranian people and women to defend themselves and their families and children against the regime.”
“We must stand with the Iranian people and their organized resistance led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and I am pleased to make a small contribution today because like the rest of us I feel passionately for the cause that she is so good at leading for us.”