London, February 1, 2024: In a strong show of support for the Iranian opposition and in the presence of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs David Rutley, members of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons condemned the Iranian regime’s attacks against members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who are residing in Albania.
The resolution urges European governments, particularly the Albanian government, to confront the illegal activities of the Iranian regime and respect the rights of PMOI members in Ashraf 3 according to the 1951 Geneva Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, and international law.
The resolution strongly denounces the regime’s escalating use of terrorism, espionage, cyber-attacks, and hostage-taking diplomacy to suppress and eliminate the democratic opposition in Iran, particularly the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Furthermore, the resolution condemns the regime’s actions against the NCRI since 2018, which strives for the establishment of a democratic republic with the separation of religion from the state.
Expressing deep concern over reports of threats against Iranian dissidents in Britain, the resolution calls upon the government to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
The resolution also urges the government to collaborate with international counterparts to ensure that further sanctions against Iran are promptly enforced and that the Iranian regime is held accountable for its unlawful activities both domestically and internationally.
Here are selected passages from speeches delivered by multiple MPs during the parliamentary debate. You can access the complete text on the UK Parliament’s website via this link.
MP Bob Blackman:
…. It is high time that we work together to banish this unlawful regime, to protect innocent protestors, and to champion free democratic rights across the world—we often take those rights for granted. To oppose the Iranian regime is no longer a political calculation but a simple humanitarian choice. We must support the Iranian people and acknowledge the legitimacy of the Iranian opposition if we are ever to see a free and democratic Iran.
I find it difficult to understand why we do not take the ultimate step and proscribe the IRGC in its entirety. I, for one, will continue to lobby for that to be done, as will Members from across the House. I understand that the Minister cannot answer that today, but the Government needs to consider the matter and come forward. We have proscribed Hamas, Hezbollah, and, recently, Hizb ut-Tahrir, so surely the head of the snake must be proscribed. We can then look forward to a free and democratic Iran, and, as we always say, next year in a free and democratic Tehran.
MP Holly Lynch:
Last year, we heard from the director general of MI5 and the head of counter-terrorism policing that they had intervened to disrupt up to 15 kidnapping and assassination attempts in the UK coming from Iran. That is why the argument for proscription is such a powerful one. It would not be merely symbolic; it would be about granting the security services and police forces in the UK additional powers to truly dismantle any foothold that the IRGC has in the UK that allows it to facilitate those assassination attempts, which we must close down. …
MP Jim Shannon:
Iranian-backed groups have attacked a US base in Jordan, and this brought about an increase in tensions between the West and Iran, despite Iran’s denial of its involvement in the attack—it got its proxies to carry out it. As armed conflict and violence increase, the oppression of religious minorities increases tenfold. For someone to be a Shi’a, a Baha’i, a Christian or a member of an ethnic minority in Iran decreases their life expectancy.
MP Martyn Day:
… Iranian authorities have extensively used Iran’s repressive machinery to censor discussion of these issues and persecute women, human rights defenders and anti-death penalty activists. Political activists who support democratic change have been particularly vulnerable to detention and death over many years, despite which the organized resistance, the People’s Mujaheddin Organization of Iran—or MEK—have remained determined to establish a free democratic and secular republic, and I wish them every success with that struggle.
Ultimately, Iran’s future must be decided by its own people, but given that they have virtually no avenues for reform, the people have no option but to resist, to demonstrate, to defend themselves, and to seek alternative forms of opposition. Iran has been witnessing a massive popular uprising—a call for freedom and democracy largely led by women and young people…
MP Wayne David:
If the Iranian regime is repressive at home, it is guilty of aggression abroad. In fact, it is among the world’s foremost state sponsors of terrorism. Iran, through its so-called proxies, is guilty of helping to initiate violenc
One additional measure ought to be the total proscription of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. I understand that there is ongoing debate in the Government about this, but if they do not bring forward appropriate measures that would lead to a total ban of the IRGC in this country, Labour will do so if it forms a Government. If the Government does that now, Labour will support it. I hope that the Government will respond in a truly positive way.
David Rutley, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs:
… The Iranian authorities responded to the protests with intimidation and violence, by killing at least 500 people and detaining 19,000. They showed complete disregard for the rights of their own people. There have been fewer protests since then, but we should not take that as evidence of a diminishing appetite for change among the Iranian people. Suppressing dissent may momentarily silence the people, but it will never kill their desire for a more just future.
Retrieved from: ncr-iran.org