On Monday, the Anglo-Iranian communities, supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in the United Kingdom held a protest rally calling on world leaders to end systematic impunity in Iran.
This rally was held simultaneously with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. The NCRI and MEK supporters called on world leaders to hold the Iranian regime to account for decades of crimes against humanity.
The rally and its participants also highlighted the involvement of Tehran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, in the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners. They also highlighted the role of Raisi and other Iran’s top officials in destructing Iran’s environment.
Raisi was scheduled to address the COP26. But he canceled his participation after a group of former political prisoners, survivors, and families of the victims of the 1988 massacre lodged a legal complaint against him in the UK and Scotland under UK’s universal jurisdiction requesting his arrest for ‘crime against humanity’ and ‘genocide’ if attended the UN Summit in Glasgow.
Monday’s rally was also attended by Struan Stevenson, former Scottish MEP and the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC), Mr. Hossain Abedini- the deputy director of the NCRI’s representative office in the UK- and representatives of various Anglo-Iranian associations.
Anglo-Iranians & NCRI supporters hold a rally simultaneous with the #COP26 summit in Glasgow calling on world leaders at the climate change conference to end impunity in #Iran & refer Raisi to ICC for prosecution for for crimes against humanity & genocide #ProsecuteRaisiNOW pic.twitter.com/g6nJOhJiGl
— Dowlat Nowrouzi (@DowlatNowrouzi) November 1, 2021
While referring to Raisi’s decision to not participate in the COP26, Mr. Stevenson said: “When we called on the Scottish Police to arrest Ebrahim Raisi if he dared to set foot in Scotland to attend the COP26 summit, he immediately chickened out and announced that he wasn’t coming.”
Mr. Stevenson underlined that Raisi “realized that, unlike his predecessors, he is unable to travel freely to the West, or indeed to any civilized nation, due to his pariah status as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’.”
Mr. Stevenson also emphasized that the “Iranian economy has collapsed due to corruption and incompetence, and “There is mass unemployment, plummeting household incomes and stagflation 70% of the population now struggle to survive on weekly incomes below the international poverty line.”
“The regime’s economic collapse has been exacerbated by its deliberately bungled handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 460,000 people and is now entering the sixth wave.”
Mr. Stevenson also called the regime’s participation in the COP26 and showing any interest a “joke.”
The head of the regime’s Environmental Protection Agency recently said that an enemy could never have damaged Iran’s natural resources and environment the way the mullahs have. The regime’s rank incompetence, venal corruption, and voracious profiteering have increased the risk and the incidence of natural disasters in Iran,” he said. “The devastating floods, raging forest fires, toxic air pollution, uncontrolled desertification, and grave water shortages have all pushed the Iranian environment to the edge of destruction. The mullahs’ Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are playing a key role in this environmental catastrophe thanks to their institutionalized corruption and destructive policies.”
Mr. Stevenson concluded that the answer to Iran’s crises, and the answer to the security crisis across the Middle East and worldwide, “is the downfall of this regime by the Iranian people and their resistance, for a free and democratic Iran, with a government for, by and of the people.”
Mr. Hossain Abedini also underlined that “During its 40 year-rule, the religious dictatorship in Iran has not only brought death, misery, and repression to millions of Iranians but has totally destroyed Iran’s environment and plundered the country’s natural resources.”
Mr. Abedini reminded the audience that “Raisi was a member of the Death Commission in the 1988 massacre to implement Khomeini’s fatwa to execute 30,000 PMOI members and sympathizers who remained loyal to the pro-democracy opposition.”
He also referred to Raisi’s role in torturing over 12,000 protesters arrested during the major November 2019 uprising, as he was the regime’s judiciary chief.
By referring to the Iranian people’s ongoing protests he emphasized that “The Iranian people have clearly demonstrated their demands and their resolve for change. They reject the regime in its entirety and are ready for the regime’s overthrow.” He also underlined that “regime change in Iran by the Iranian People and their Resistance is inevitable. A free and democratic Iran is very much within reach and on the horizon.”
At the end of his speech Mr. Abedini, on behalf of all participants and the Iranian Resistance urged “the UK and other Western countries “ to “adopt a firm policy on Iran” that entails the following:
- Prosecute Ebrahim Raisi for genocide and crime against humanity in an international court and do it now.
- Impose sanctions on Raisi and other regime officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity and genocide under the new Magnistky sanctions.
- Proscribe the IRGC in its entirety.
The following is the press statement of the UK Representative Office of the NCRI:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Council of Resistance of Iran – UK Representative Office
November 1, 2021
The Anglo-Iranian community calls on world leaders at the COP26 to end impunity for crimes against humanity and genocide in Iran
Members of the Anglo-Iranian communities and supporters of the Iranian Resistance urged world leaders to stand with the Iranian people and take immediate action to stop impunity for crimes against humanity and genocide in Iran, during a rally organised simultaneously with the COP26 summit in Glasgow on Monday, 1 November 2021.
The rally highlighted the regime’s systematic destruction of Iran’s environment and persecution of environmentalists as enemies of the state.
Participants also marked the second anniversary of the November 2019 uprising in Iran and honoured the 1500 protesters who were killed when the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and security forces opened fire at the popular protests across the country following a direct order by the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
They highlighted the involvement of the regime’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in the 2019 deadly crackdown and the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners which prominent lawyers describe as a crime against humanity and genocide.
The Scottish politician and MEP until 2014, and the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), Struan Stevenson, described the humiliating climbdown of Raisi, who has decide not to come to Glasgow, as a great victory for the Iranian people and said:
“It is simply a joke that the mullahs’ regime should pretend that they have the slightest interest in COP26. The regime’s rank incompetence, venal corruption and voracious profiteering have increased the risk and the incidence of natural disasters in Iran.
“Raisi is the zombie president of a dying regime. He realised that, unlike his predecessors, he is unable to travel freely to the West, or indeed to any civilised nation, due to his pariah status as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’. He knows they are investigating the hundreds of executions that took place while he was head of the judiciary, executions that are accelerating now that he has become president.
“He knows that even as a serving president, following his sham election in June, he cannot rely on diplomatic immunity to avoid arrest. He knows he could still be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and charged with crimes against humanity, torture, murder and genocide. There is a cell waiting for Ebrahim Raisi at the ICC in the Hague.”
Hossein Abedini, Deputy director of the UK Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) summarised the participants’ demands in his remarks and said:
“Our message today to the world leaders attending the COP26 Summit is clear and simple. It is time to stand with the Iranian people and their organised Resistance for a free and democratic Iran.
“It is time to join the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance in rejecting the regime in Iran in its entirety and support the popular campaign of bringing to justice and prosecution the regime’s mass murderer president Ebrahim Raisi, and the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, for decades of serious human rights abuses, crime against humanity and genocide.”
Raisi had planned to attend the COP26 summit as his first foreign visit as president. However, he cancelled the visit after a group of former political prisoners, survivors and families of the victims of the 1988 massacre filed a legal complaint against him in the UK and Scotland under the UK’s universal jurisdiction legislation requesting his arrest for crimes against humanity and genocide if he attended the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.