Irish Senators and TDs Express Support for Iran’s Uprising and Resistance

Written by
Shamsi Saadati
On Wednesday, November 16, a conference was held in Dublin to discuss the popular uprising pioneered by women and students in Iran, and the regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters the conference also had a look at the future developments amid growing dissent.

Panelists who represented a cross-party setup of TDs (MPs), Senators, and the president-elect of the Iranian Resistance, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi discussed what Ireland and the European Union can do to support the people of Iran, to end the brutal crackdown on the ongoing uprising and hold state authorities to account. They also put forward recommendations to that end for the Irish Government as well as the EU.

Addressing the conference via a video message, the President-elect of the NCRI Mrs. Maryam Rajavi stated: “This uprising is not an overnight development. In the face of a misogynist regime, Iranian women are the main force for change. For over four decades, tens of thousands of freedom-loving women have been imprisoned and executed in Iran on political charges. 120,000 Iranian men and women have sacrificed their lives because they believed in freedom. In the summer of 1988 alone, 30,000 political prisoners were massacred. One of the perpetrators of this massacre was Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s current president.”


“The Iranian people are determined to establish a democratic republic based on people’s vote and the separation of religion and state. We say no to compulsory religion, no to compulsory Hijab, and no to a compulsory regime.”

“To achieve this goal, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of different political forces, promotes unity for regime change and the establishment of democracy in Iran. The NCRI is the longest-lasting political coalition in Iran’s modern history. The secret to the NCRI’s endurance is its commitment to the principles, transparency in its positions, and its democratic relations.”

“Iran is on the brink of change. In addition to suppression inside Iran, the clerical regime spends large amounts of money abroad, under different covers, to try to spread disinformation campaigns and lies against the main Resistance movement, the PMOI. They want to create this false impression that the mullahs’ regime has no alternative. Nevertheless, the Iranian people and their organized Resistance will bring about change. Today, it is universally accepted that change will not come from within the regime. The only answer is organized resistance inside Iran. To this end, Resistance Units have been formed all over Iran. Despite widespread and daily arrests, these units are growing, and they are playing a significant role in the continuation of the uprising.”


Senator Maria Byrne stated: “According to a report by the Women’s committee of the Iranian Resistance, the regime has created over two dozen security forces whose main task is to implement the repressive dress code and other misogynistic policies. In other words, the regime’s domestic repression is rooted in and maintained by targeting women. That is the reason women are at the forefront of the uprising risking their lives to voice their demands and gain their freedoms. Now, another reason is the Iranian Resistance and its principal opposition group, the PMOI/MEK, who recognizes and encourages women’s leadership at every level of its organization.”

“This will allow the women to change and shape the future of their country in contrast to the religious dictatorship that denies them their most fundamental rights and freedoms. This is the inspiration for millions of women in Iran and that is why they join the ranks of the protests and resistance units.”

“We must acknowledge now that the regime in Iran does not represent the people and the best way to convey that is to not reopen our Embassy in Tehran as planned, close Iran’s Embassy in Dublin, and expel the ambassador as persona non grata. This would be an appropriate first response to the regime’s killing and the crackdown on protests as we work with other EU member states and international allies to hold the regime to account for its crimes. I will petition our government to this end until we see an end to the injustice and oppression in Iran.”

Addressing the conference, Senator Joe O’Reilly also said: “I believe that the time has come, as my colleagues said here today, for our government to recognize you and the Iranian Resistance movement as a viable democratic alternative for the future of Iran and the parliament-in-exile that embodies the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people. Our government should seek a dialogue with you and the Iranian Resistance at this crucial time in Iran’s history to find the best way to cooperate and assist the brave people of Iran in their quest for freedom, human rights, and democracy.”

“One of my main concerns is for the tens of thousands who have been detained by the regime during these uprisings because we know they will be subjected to severe torture and are at risk of execution. This puts extra responsibility on our shoulders, especially since we are a member of the UN Security Council, to do more to prevent another massacre in Iran. Ireland and the EU can and should do more and I call on our Government and the EU to take the lead at the international level and support your call for justice and accountability for the regime and its leaders for decades of crimes against humanity.”

Former Irish Minister of State John Perry said: “40 years ago, the Iranian people rejected the Shah’s despotic rule and today they are rejecting the religious dictatorship. Thus, Iran’s evolution and history make clear that the people want a truly free and representative republic where they can elect their future leaders. That is the real reason for the popular uprising and personal sacrifices in Iran today. A change is coming to Iran, the question is not if but rather when.”

“All the ingredients for success are there. Madam Rajavi’s inspiring leadership unites both the Iranians as well as international cross-party politicians and parliamentarians around the common cause of a free Iran. The courageous resistance units inside Iran who organize and spread the protests to all corners of the country, a brave population led by fearless women willing to make great personal sacrifices to secure freedom and democracy for the people, a democratic, inclusive alternative in the NCRI that mirrors a true miniature of Iran’s society and a democratic platform in Madam Rajavi’s 10-point plan that sets out the destination for the future.”

“That is why I ask and advise our Government and the EU to stand with the Iranian people, recognize the Iranian Resistance that advances the Iranian people’s democratic aspirations and begin talks and cooperation with Madam Rajavi and her popular movement.”

Former Senator and former Minister of State Sean Haughey TD stated: “I also call on our government to publicly declare Ireland’s unequivocal support for the people of Iran and their uprising while backing the call by Madam Rajavi to recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the regime for freedom and democracy.”

“Madam Rajavi, your success and the success of the Iranian people are a positive step for Iran, the region, and the world. It is in our interests that your struggle is victorious, and the Fianna Fáil will stand with the NCRI and the people of Iran for human rights, democracy, and justice.”


At the Dublin conference, speakers included:

Senator Gerry Horkan, Spokesperson on Law Reform

Catherine Noone, former deputy speaker of the senate

Fine Gael Senator Joe O’Reilly, Leas-Cathaoirleach (deputy leader) of Seanad Éireann, Seanad Spokesperson on Foreign and European Affairs, Defence and Brexit

Jim Higgins, EPP MEP from 2004 to 2014, former Fine Gael Senator and TD, and former Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Defense

Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne, Seanad Spokesperson on Finance

Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan, Nominated by the Taoiseach, Spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality, and Integration

Sean Haughey, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs

John Paul Phelan, Fine Gael TD for Carlow/Kilkenny and party Vice-President

Padraig O’Sullivan, Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Spokesperson for Special Education

John Perry, Minister of State from 2011 to 2014


Other participants included:


Fine Gael Senator Regina Doherty, Leader of Seanad Éireann and Leader of Fine Gael in the Seanad

Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan

Fianna Fáil Senator Diarmuid Wilson, Spokesperson on Defence

Fine Gael Senator Seán Kyne, Government Seanad Chief Whip, Seanad Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform and Gaeltacht

Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward, Seanad Spokesperson on Justice

Independent Senator Sharon Keogan, the first female independent Councillor elected to Seanad Eireann

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne, Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science



Cathal Crewe, Fianna Fáil TD for Clare

Brendan Howlin, Labour TD for Wexford, spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Brexit

Marian Harkin, Independent TD for Sligo-Leitrim and MEP from 2004 to 2019

Bernard Durkan, Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Vice Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas on Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, member of the Joint Committee on European Affairs and former Fine Gael Chief Whip

Garry Gannon, Social Democrats TD for Dublin Central, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence

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