Former UK Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Theresa Villiers addressed a conference held at the United Kingdom’s Parliament on September 12, in support of the Iranian people’s uprising on its first anniversary.
She praised the bravery of the Iranian women who took to the streets, especially in response to Mahsa Amini’s tragic death. Theresa Villiers highlighted the regime’s extensive use of the death penalty and its brutal response to protests.
While recognizing the UK’s sanctions and human rights concerns raised by foreign ministers, she called for the proscription of the IRGC, aligning with the United States’ example. Theresa Villiers expressed her support for democratic change, respect for human rights, and gender equality in Iran, echoing the desire to see a new Iran based on the NCRI’s Ten-Point Plan.
The text of MP Theresa Villiers’ speech follows:
I want to thank the British Parliamentary Committee on Iran Freedom for inviting me to address this important meeting this morning. And it is great to be following the President-elect of the National Council for Resistance in Iran and to hear her perspective on the current state of the regime sadly it is almost exactly a year since the death of Mahsa Amini, and as we all know brought thousands upon thousands of women out onto the street to protest in Iran to demand a better future.
They’ve had many slogans but ‘women-life-freedom’ was one that caught the imagination of many of us. Even children in Iran were getting involved in calling for change and I salute the bravery of everyone who was prepared to put themselves at risk to call for freedom and for democracy in Iran.
It’s publicly documented that the regime in Tehran makes prolific use of the death penalty and it is a tragedy and a grave injustice that a number of protesters have been executed many others lost their lives in the brutal response to the protests and the uprising and I’m convinced that there are many thousands still languishing in prison as a result of those brave actions by protesters and this is just the latest chapter of bloodshed and oppression in the four decades-long rule of the Mullahs.
MP Theresa Villiers: "I truly hope that one day soon we will see the establishment of the #democratic, secular Republic, based on the Ten-Point Plan, which multiple opposition groups have coalesced around."https://t.co/0q7uzcy1lU
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) September 12, 2023
The theocratic regime there is one of the worst human rights offenders in the world and my long-stated view is that the IRGC is responsible for many of these atrocities and whilst I speak in a personal capacity, I continue to believe as I have done for several years that the IRGC should be proscribed as the terrorist organization that it most clearly is.
It’s already subject to UK sanctions and I welcome that UK foreign ministers have often spoken out on human rights concerns in Iran and I welcome that too. But following the example set by Washington, we should take the further step of prescription we should do that to reflect our horror about what the IRGC is responsible for in Iran and also across the regions where its proxies have a malign involvement in conflict across the Middle East.
So, I welcome this chance to join friends and colleagues today to once again call for the IRGC to be proscribed and also to once again call for freedom for Iran. Like all the speakers here I want to see democratic change and reform so that the protesters are listened to so that human rights are respected and so that women can enjoy equal concern and respect.
And I truly hope that one day soon we will see the establishment of a democratic secular republic based on the Ten-Point Plan around which multiple opposition groups have coalesced in that way we will see those powerful words women-life-freedom translated into a new Iran and a brighter better future for all of its people.