declaring solidarity with the flood victims in Iran
Dozens of cross-party members from both Houses of Parliament celebrated the Persian New Year with members of the Anglo-Iranian communities at an event in the Parliament on Tuesday, 2 April 2019.
In their remarks, the cross-party MPs and Peers extended their condolences to the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mrs Maryam Rajavi, and to the bereaved families in Shiraz and in other cities affected by devastating floods across the country in recent week.
MPs and Peers joined the Anglo-Iranian Communities to call on the UK government to condemn the regime's repressive response to protests against the lack of relief. They urged the UK government to work with the EU to pressure the Iranian authorities to stop the crackdown on people in the affected regions.
The cross-party members of Parliament stressed that the regime in Iran is at its weakest at home and more isolated internationally. It is desperately struggling for its survival by pursuing physical elimination of the Iranian Resistance movement, the PMOI and the NCRI, through terrorist plots abroad and tarnishing the image of this democratic opposition coalition through a massive misinformation campaign inside and outside of Iran.
The speakers including representatives of several Anglo-Iranian Associations, noted that the misinformation campaign has no effect on their views of democratic credential of the NCRI.
Speakers at the event expressed hope that the coming year will see the final victory of the Iranian people. They called on the UK Government to adopt a firm policy on Iran based, support the democratic demands of the Iranian people for genuine change and recognise the Iranian Resistance Movement, the NCRI, led by Mrs Maryam Rajavi, and her 10-point democratic platform for future Iran as a viable alternative to the current theocracy.
Sir David Amess MP, co-chairman of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) welcomed the participants to the Nowruz celebration in the Parliament and said, “Today, Iran stands at a critical juncture in its history and as the NCRI President-elect Mrs Maryam Rajavi said a democratic change in Iran by the people and their Resistance Movement is very much within reach. The formation of Resistance Units across Iran to help and organise the popular protests prove the growing support for Mrs Rajavi’s movement in the country.”
“We reiterate our call on the UK Government to support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people and recognise the NCRI. The UK should join the US campaign of maximum pressure on Iran regime”, Sir David said, adding “It is time for the UK to stand on the side of millions of Iranians and not on the side of the mullahs. The future of Iran belongs to those who stood and struggle against both the Shah’s dictatorship and the religious dictatorship.”
In his opening remarks, Dr Matthew Offord MP welcomed the Home Office’s recent decision to proscribe the entire Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation as a positive step in the right direction.
“The UK Government should take a similar step with regards to the IRGC and Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, by proscribing them as terrorist organisations in their entirety. Part of regime’s Intelligence Ministry was recently blacklisted by the EU with British support for being behind the foiled bomb plot against the NCRI’s grand gathering in Paris last year”, Dr Offord said.
Rt Hon David Jones MP, Former Secretary of State for Wales, highlighted the regime’s growing fear for Iran’s main opposition group, the PMOI, and said, “Following its failure to eliminate PMOI members with several deadly rocket attacks against their camps in Iraq, the regime planned two terrorist plots against them in Albania. Luckily, these were foiled by the Albanian authorities and resulted in the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats from the country, including the Ambassador.”
Steve McCabe MP said, “Human rights continue to deteriorate in Iran. The regime’s brutal crackdown to a year of sustained popular anti-regime protests and strikes by workers show that the regime leaders are neither willing nor interested in addressing the legitimate demand of Iranian people. The UK must now take the lead internationally to secure an accountability process backed by the international community and Europe to hold the regime to account for its serious human rights abuses, including the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners.”
Jim Shannon MP said, “The regime’s persecution of religious minorities in Iran and its assault on freedom of expression and assembly continued to worsen last year. It is a pressing issue and the UK must work with European allies to publicly shame those responsible and demand change for the Christians and ethnic groups because human rights and religious freedoms are paramount.”
Farzin Hashemi from the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee thanked the cross-party members for their support for the Iranian people's quest for freedom and said, “As the NCRI President-elect, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, emphasised in her New Year message, a change in Iran is within reach.”
“The people of Iran deserve a free and democratic country and they will write and create such a destiny with their own hands. The gates of Iran are open to embrace a future without oppression, inequality and injustice; a republic based on the separation of religion and state; a country ruled by its people’s suffrage and sovereignty, where the people’s votes have the first and final words”, he added in his remarks.
Rt Hon Joan Ryan MP wished the participants at the Nowruz event a very happy and peaceful Persian New Year. “I congratulate the British Committee for Iran Freedom on organising this event and for their work to secure human rights and democracy in Iran and peace throughout the Middle East. I look forward to continuing to support these efforts in the year ahead”, she said in her message to the Nowruz celebration in the Parliament.
Renowned Iranian musicians Dr Hamidreza Taharzadeh and Ali Torshizi performed traditional Persian music at the event.
Speakers at the event also included, Stephen Pound MP; Rt Hon Sir Roger Gale MP; Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; Rt Hon John Spellar MP, Former Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Bob Blackman MP; Baroness Redfern; Rt Hon Lord Dholakia OBE DL, Co-Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Peers; Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE; Lord Maginnis of Drumglass; Lord Clarke of Hampstead CBE; Malcolm Fowler, Former Member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales; and Hossein Abedini, the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee.
Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP; Dr David Drew MP; Afzal Khan MP; Andy McDonald MP; Faisal Rashid MP; Eleanor Smith MP; and Jack Lopresti MP also attended the Nowruz celebration in the Parliament.
British Committee for Iran Freedom
2 April 2019