On September 12, representatives from the Iranian Resistance joined members of the UK Parliament, including both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The conference was in commemoration of the first anniversary of Iran’s 2022 uprising and to express support for the Iranian people’s pursuit of freedom and democracy. They also called upon the UK government to classify the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
During the event, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, delivered a keynote address. She expressed her gratitude for the support shown by 525 members of both Houses of the UK Parliament in backing the Iranian Resistance. Mrs. Rajavi highlighted the international solidarity with the brave women and girls in Iran, stating, “Some 1,000 prominent women from around the world who are well recognized in leadership, science, art, and social affairs have issued a statement supporting the vanguard role of women in the Iranian Resistance, on the eve of the anniversary of the Iran uprising.”
Addressing the current state of the Iranian regime, Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that despite claims of suppression, the regime is in fact more vulnerable and fragile than ever. Mrs. Rajavi stated, “The escalation of executions, mass arrests, and intensified suppression indicate the regime’s weakness and fear of another uprising.”
Rejecting the policy of appeasement towards the clerical dictatorship in Iran, Mrs. Rajavi called for a new approach that relies on the desires of the Iranian people rather than oppressive rulers. She warned against the dangers of appeasement, stating, “The policy of appeasement must be set aside. It will only embolden the mullahs’ terrorist regime to commit more crimes, violate human rights in Iran, and engage in more terrorism and hostage-taking.”
MP Theresa Villiers, former UK Secretary of State for Environment and Northern Ireland, expressed her strong stance on the Iranian regime and the need to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization. She emphasized the regime’s history of bloodshed and oppression, stating, “The theocratic regime there is one of the worst human rights offenders in the world, and my long-stated view is that the IRGC should be proscribed as the terrorist organization that it most clearly is.”
Villiers called for democratic change in Iran, highlighting the importance of listening to protestors, respecting children’s rights, and promoting gender equality. She expressed hope for the establishment of a democratic, secular republic based on the Ten-Point Plan of Mrs. Rajavi, supported by multiple opposition groups.
Baroness Sandip Verma, former minister of Energy, Climate Change, and International Development, highlighted the atrocities committed by the Iranian regime and emphasized the need for global recognition of its actions. She expressed support for Mrs. Rajavi’s leadership and the Ten-Point Plan, which offers a democratic process for the people of Iran to live freely and have their human rights respected.
Baroness Verma compared IRGC to other terrorist groups and called on parliamentarians to urge their governments to push for the proscription of the IRGC.
“We cannot keep silent. We mustn’t keep silent. And if leaders across the world were seriously contemplating the appeasement policy, does not work. History will tell you over and over again that appeasement does not work,” she said.
Baroness Nuala O’Loan highlighted the scale of violence and human rights abuses happening in Iran, emphasizing the bravery of Iranian youth who risk their lives to protest against oppression and atrocities. Baroness O’Loan called for acknowledgement and tribute to the courageous men and women who take to the streets and social media to expose the brutality of the Iranian regime.
Baroness O’Loan further urged the United Kingdom to take action in addressing the crisis of impunity in Iran. She called for the establishment of an international investigative and accountability mechanism to collect and analyze evidence of serious international crimes.
“We should, as a country, commit to exercising our universal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute Iranian officials suspected of criminal responsibility for crimes under international law. We must do more. The IRGC must be proscribed,” she said.
MP Toby Perkins, the Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, acknowledged the significant nationwide uprising in Iran over the past year. He praised the bravery of the Iranian people who took to the streets despite the dangers posed by the oppressive IRGC and the theocratic regime. MP Perkins emphasized that a free Iran is the ultimate destiny for its people and is crucial for a more peaceful world and Middle East. He called for international pressure to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist organization and to strip away the regime’s legitimacy in negotiations, highlighting their human rights abuses and malicious contributions to Middle East politics.
“The regime has no legitimacy and no right to run the country of Iran, and so the regime must be held to account because it is a serial mass murder. The UK government must stand up and say that it will not negotiate with this terrorist regime,” he said.
Lord Indarjit Singh expressed his disbelief at the Iranian regime’s cruel treatment of the Iranian people over 44 years. He highlighted the regime’s execution of over 120,000 people and the mass graves from the summer of 1988 where 30,000 political prisoners perished.
Lord Singh emphasized the urgent need to proscribe the as a terrorist organization, both for its domestic repression and its involvement in repression abroad. Lord Singh praised Madam Maryam Rajavi’s leadership and her Ten-Point-Plan, which he viewed as an ideal “not only as an ideal for Iran, it is an ideal for many countries around the world where human rights are being abused.”
Naghmeh Rajabi, a member of the Anglo-Iranian community, emphasized the significance of lives sacrificed in the pursuit of a free Iran, expressing confidence in the success of the revolution. She highlighted the activities of brave Resistance Units and the resistance displayed by political prisoners.
Rajabi criticized the regime’s lack of capability and willingness to bring about real change, noting the worsening turmoil and increased suppression, mass arrests, and executions. She emphasized that the revolution encompasses broader issues beyond the hijab, reflecting the aspirations of Iranians for political, religious, and personal freedom.
“The revolution was not and is not only about women’s freedom to wear the hijab or not, although undoubtedly that is a real issue for the women of my country,” she said. “To reduce a country’s revolution to a matter of women’s hijab is doing injustice to the hundreds and thousands of Iranians who have been a victim of the regime either for their political beliefs, for their religious beliefs, or for the belief that they too have the right to live freely.”
Baroness Liz Redfern said, “The NCRI’s Ten-Point Plan provides a respectable, reliable alternative. Among other things, it calls for a non-nuclear, secular, and democratic Republic that respects the rights of women and minorities.
Western governments must also proscribe the IRGC, which is the regime’s main arm for suppressing dissidents at home and exporting terrorism around the world. The truth must be told and Iran will be free.”
MP Martyn Day, SNP Spokesperson for Health, expressed his support for regime change in Iran due to its oppressive and undemocratic nature domestically and its threats to international democracy. He called for the proscription of the IRGC, sanctions against its affiliates, and active support for the Iranian people. MP Day emphasized the need for decisive action and non-negotiation with the regime to address the situation in Iran.
MP Liam Fox, former UK Defense Secretary, described Iran’s regime as a “thugocracy” that is more dangerous than other regimes, which is run by the IRGC.
Fox underscored the need for the British government to proscribe the IRGC. He also emphasized that it is the people of Iran themselves who will choose their leaders and no one can claim to be the heir of power in Iran.
MP Anna Firth expressed her delight in reading a statement signed by 1,000 prominent women from various countries, endorsing the Ten-Point Plan of Mrs. Rajavi for freedom, equality, and a democratic republic in Iran.
MP Firth emphasized the united stance against the oppressive regime and the shared goal of establishing a democratic regime and ensuring equality for women in Iran. “We are all united against this atrocious regime. We all have one word, common goal, and that is to see a democratic regime and to see equality for women in what is the great country of Iran,” she said.
MP Bob Blackman praised the NCRI, the PMOI, Maryam Rajavi for leading this resistance. He said that the NCRI is “clearly the most representative organization that is a democratic alternative to the current regime of the mullahs.”
Blackman warned against the IRGC’s direct threat to democracy and Western interests in general. “The regime always wants more money. They are using secret trade networks and front companies to sell oil to fund their crackdown and terrorism. Our government should condemn these actions,” he said. He warned that diplomatic approach and appeasement will only embolden the regime.