MPs and peers have pressed the UK government to act in support of human rights by addressing the plight of Iranian people suffering under long-tenured theocratic brutality and oppression. Calls came from across the political spectrum to strengthen the campaign for international agreement on holding the regime to account in Iran.
Meeting to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, cross-party members of parliament, human rights lawyers, and the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, stated that the UK government should support Iranians fighting for democracy.
Rajavi presided at the meeting via video call and said:
“The clerical regime is engaged in three wars at the same time: one against the international community, another against the people of the Middle East, and most significantly, a war against the people of Iran. The regime’s leaders must be prosecuted for their crimes and warmongering. The mullahs’ criminal president, Ebrahim Raisi was directly involved in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. It is a shame that the European governments held talks with him.”
She thanked the participants for focusing on Iran’s situation and “the Iranian people’s fight to overthrow the mullahs’ religious fascism”.
Confronting the Iranian regime
Rajavi also proposed a four-step solution in order to confront the regime. These four measures include: designating the regime’s enforcers the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, re-imposing sanctions and restrictions in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2231, placing the regime under chapter seven of the UN charter and declaring it as an immediate threat to world peace and security. The last step, according to Rajavi, is “recognising the Iranian people’s struggle to overthrow the regime and the fight of Iran’s rebellious youths against the terrorist IRGC”.
During the meeting several speakers also condemned the trial in absentia of over 100 members of the democratic opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). They pointed out the lack of credibility of Iran’s judiciary and emphasised that it is used as a tool to repress Iranians. Furthermore, it often executes dissenters on fabricated charges such as ‘Moharebeh’ which implies ‘waging war against God’.
Iran: parliamentarians from all sides call for action
Bob Blackman CBE MP, co-president of the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran (ICPDI), said:
“We know about the appalling human rights situation in Iran. The regime is resorting to disinformation campaigns, laying the ground for terrorist acts, as we have seen in recent weeks in Berlin against the office of the NCRI.”
Speakers unanimously agreed on exploring both international mechanisms and universal jurisdiction where possible in order to help end the impunity.
Baroness O’Loan DBE criticised the failure of the UN and the West to hold the Iranian regime to account whereas Jim Shannon MP said:
“Madam Rajavi set out in her remarks what [British] support should look like and what the Iranian people expect from the UK government. I urge our government to reach out to the NCRI to assist the efforts of the Iranian people to hold the regime to account and prosecute its leaders under existing UN mechanisms and international law. That should be the focus of our Iran policy and I will petition our government to that end until justice prevails in Iran.”
Martyn Day MP reiterated that Iran has one of the worst human rights records in the world. He said:
“I have lost track of the number of times I and others have called for the complete proscription of the IRGC in this country. I hope it is coming.”
This article has been adapted from a press release.