The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) holds an online event today on the Iranian regime’s terrorism and how it undermines global security. This event is being attended by several prominent lawmakers from the United Kingdom. Participants are highlighting the persistent threat of terrorism stemming from the Iranian regime.
The event comes in the wake of new threats by the regime’s incarcerated diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi being revealed by the western media. Assadi who was arrested following the regime’s foiled bomb plot against the NCRI’s “Free Iran” gathering in 2018 in Paris, has threatened the Belgian authorities of attacks by the mullahs’ proxy groups if he is found guilty.
The foiled bomb plot in 2018 and Assadi’s threats once again underline the necessity of the European countries taking a firm action against the mullahs’ regime.
The following are the remarks by participants at today’s webinar:
Former MEP Struan Stevenson
In June 2018, Iranian regime foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was responsible for a bombing attempt against the Free Iran rally of the NCRI. The conspirators, including Assadollah Assadi, a regime diplomat are now on trial in Belgium. It is the first time that a regime diplomat is directly involved in a terrorist attempt.
The senior diplomat Assadi replaced in the Vienna embassy, was redeployed to Tirana by Zarif. Zarif had clearly instructed his new team of diplomats in Tirana that their main task was to track down members of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization (PMOI/MEK) in the country. The regime tried to detonate a bomb at the Nowruz ceremony of the MEK.
These are not the only terror plots that bear the fingerprint of Zarif. Another regime terrorist was caught in Denmark, two others were expelled from the Netherlands. They have operated in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Turkey.
For the past four decades, the mullahs have left nothing but death in their wake. This theocratic fascist dictatorship has wrecked Iran’s economy and turned this once-great nation into an international pariah.
Iran’s jails are bursting at the seams with political prisoners, youth arrested during the November 2019 protests. In the summer of 1988, the summary execution of more than 30,000 political prisoners in Iran was the worst crime against humanity in the late 20th century. It was carried out based on a fatwa by then-supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini. Many of the perpetrators of that crime are still in key positions in the regime.
We should close all of Iran’s embassies and expel all their diplomats. Regime leaders should be indicted for crimes against humanity and brought to trial by criminal courts. The EU and UN must stop its appeasement of the mullahs’ regime.
Message of NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi delivered by Ms. Dowlat Norouzi, Director of the NCRI UK Office
Human rights, freedom and the desire of the Iranian people for change and establishment of a republic based on universal suffrage is at the core of the Iranian issue.
Ignoring these dimensions runs not only against the interests of the Iranian people, but would also undermine the security of the Middle East, Europe and the entire world.
Sadly, neglecting these vital dimensions has shaped the core of the policies of the European countries towards Iran.
Today the people of Iran are surrounded by the regime’s atrocities and destruction.
On the one hand, they face a catastrophic economy.
On the other hand, a large segment of the people in Iran are starving. And Iran has one of the highest inflation rates in the world.
On top of all this, regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have plundered the national wealth. Every year, they steal tens of billions of dollars from the public’s wealth or they move it abroad. In addition, billions of dollars are spent on warmongering, terrorism, as well as on missile and nuclear programs of the mullahs’ regime.
Another issue is the spread of COVID-19 in Iran. Today, the most conservative estimates put the death toll at over 125,000. The mullahs do not use the government’s revenues and resources to contain the spread of the disease. In fact, they use this situation to dishearten the people and silence their protests.
And finally, there is the mullahs’ suppression, torture and execution to preserve their regime. Today, dozens of political prisoners are on death row. The lives of those arrested during the November 2019 protests are in danger. Wrestling champion Navid Afkari and Mostafa Salehi were executed after experiencing barbaric torture.
Since December 2017, five major uprisings have erupted against the Iranian regime. These protests are sparks beneath the ashes and the daily activities of young people and Resistance Units prove this fact.
At the same time, the mullahs’ regime is very unstable. This explains why the mullahs have resorted to further terrorism abroad, particularly in Europe.
Suppression of the people of Iran on the one hand, and warmongering and export of terrorism on the other, are the two pillars for the regime’s survival.
Another unprecedented development is that an official diplomat of the regime handed over explosives to terrorists to carry out a massive bombing in the heart of Europe. He is now in jail awaiting his trial.
It is the policy of appeasement that has emboldened the mullahs and has given them free rein to conduct terrorism abroad and carry out suppression at home.
On behalf of the Iranian Resistance, I call on parliaments in Europe, particularly both legislative chambers in the UK and the parliament of Ireland, to take the lead in adopting a new policy towards Iran:
*Human rights for the people of Iran,
*A comprehensive embargo against the religious dictatorship, and
*Recognition of the Iranian people’s Resistance for freedom and democracy.
It is essential that Britain, Ireland and other European countries designate the IRGC as a terrorist group, shut down the regime’s embassies that are centers for terrorist operations, and expel the regime’s agents from European soil.
The mission must also investigate the condition of prisons and prisoners in Iran, particularly the conditions of political prisoners.
We demand the release of all political prisoners.
The dossier of the massacres of 1988 and the November 2019 uprising must be sent to the UN Security Council.
Impunity for Khamenei and other leaders of this regime should no longer be tolerated. They must face Justice.
Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP
Since its inception, the theocratic regime has maintained its grip on power through repression inside the country and the spread of terrorism abroad. The connection between these two pillars is key to understanding the regime. The regime is heavily involved in causing instability in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
The mullahs are using terrorism to target Iranian dissidents abroad such as the NCRI. Iran and its IRGC are a threat in many places around the world. It is shocking that the UN arms embargo on Iran is due to expire in just a few days.
There is a clear case to designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity and the UK must do so. The situation is very grave and the people are suffering greatly.
Toby Perkins MP
The Iranian regime has historically used terrorist attacks and assassinations against dissidents abroad. This is the other side of the regime’s internal repression. In 2018, the regime tried to bomb the gathering of NCRI in Paris. The regime targets the Iranian Resistance because Maryam Rajavi has a democratic platform for the future of Iran and because NCRI has a crucial role in exposing the regime’s human rights abuses and illicit behavior.
There must be a coordinated European response to the regime. A necessary step is to designate the regime’s leaders and institutions like IRGC and MOIS as terrorist entities. The UK must abandon the policy of appeasement and back the opposition.
Bob Blackman MP
We know that the regime is a very serious threat to all our interests. It has attacked our embassy in Tehran, has conducted cyberattacks, and now we have a diplomat who is convicted in a terror plot. We must end the appeasement policy and the illusion that moderates will emerge from the theocratic dictatorship.
We were promised that Rouhani is a moderate. The reality is, under Rouhani’s tenure, terrorism has increased and human rights has deteriorated in Iran. We must proscribe the IRGC in its entirety as a terrorist organization. The regime’s terrorism has reached Europe and the time to act is now. I urge our government to proscribe the IRGC, implement a pressure policy and encourage our European allies to do so as well.
We must end the supply of arms to this terrorist regime.
Sir Alan Meale
I find it incredible that our countries participate in dialogue with such countries that don’t respect their own people. The international community has turned a blind eye to the regime’s terrorism and acquiesced to the regime.
This sense of force from the regime has not worked, and it shows in the growing dissent against the regime in the country. There is a daily average of 12 strikes in the country and protests in many cities and towns.
The regime continues the rule of terror. Last November, 1,500 protesters were killed by the regime. The regime ordered one of its own diplomats to carry out the bombing of the opposition gathering in Paris. It shows that democratic countries should have nothing to do with this regime.
I call all governments in the free world to do whatever necessary to support the opposition, in particular Madam Rajavi.
Former Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre
The women of Iran are playing an active role in popular protests. They are challenging the misogynist regime. They are a driving force for change in Iran. They are inspired by NCRI president-elect Maryam Rajavi. She has done so much for the Iranian Resistance movement and encourages the leadership role of women. The regime, on the other hand, tries to reduce women to second-class citizens, and that is why it tries to eliminate this source of inspiration. This is why it is engaged in terrorism against the NCRI.
At the same time, the regime is brutally cracking down on protests in Iran. The regime has handed death sentences based on confessions obtained through torture.
The UK government and other European countries and the European Union must take the regime’s human rights violations seriously, and the terrorism of the regime against Iranian dissidents. The regime’s leaders must be held to account for these atrocities. We must support the Iranian people and their resistance movement for change.
Relations with Iran must be contingent to the end of executions and the release of political prisoners. Iranian diplomats who facilitate terrorism must be expelled. We must stand up to them and support the Iranian Resistance and Maryam Rajavi.
Steve McCabe MP
Iran is the leading sponsor of state terrorism. That’s the problem we’re confronting. The regime does this because first, it is interested in stifling any dissent and making it impossible for people to engage in any form of protests, and second, to spread its evil doctrine across the world and prevent any support for its alternative, the NCRI.
This is a regime that engages in the most brutal domestic policy. It intends to eliminate all opposition. And they will use anyone to achieve their ends.
Western governments need to stand up to this and make it clear we’re not going to accept this. Some people make the case for appeasement, but the leopard won’t change its spots. They will interpret any appeasement from western government as a sign of weakness. The only approach is to exclude the regime from the world community and let them know that they must either provide free and fair elections or go.
Lord David Alton of Liverpool
I’m too well aware of what the regime’s terrorism means for the stability of the region. The regime’s poisonous tentacles reach beyond the region and threaten the security of Europe and European citizens. I welcome the forthcoming trial of the regime diplomat who was involved in a bombing attempt against the NCRI.
It’s high time for the regime be held to account for its terrorism. Under no circumstances must European authorities accept the regime to intervene in the procedures of the court. The United Kingdom government must refer the regime’s human rights violations to the UN Security Council.
The UK must at a minimum seek an investigation by the International Criminal Court. We should lead the way for a regional tribunal of regime officials involved in human rights abuse and terrorist attempts against dissidents.
The Iranian people will decide their future. They have a democratic alternative in the NCRI. We in the UK and Europe must recognize that they stand for the same values that we stand for.
Irish Senator Gerry Horkan
Based on the experience of the last four decades, we know that appeasement toward the regime has been far from effective. The regime’s terrorism in the Middle East and other parts of the world have only become worse. It hasn’t just been unsuccessful but was counterproductive.
The regime has been blackmailing the West through threats of carrying out terrorist attacks. European government must wake up. Enough of this appeasement and granting concessions to the regime. We must see what needs to be done to prevent terrorism.
Our policy must go beyond talk and condemnation. There must be action. We must firmly respond to every terrorist act. Its funds must be targeted, its embassies close. Cultural centers and companies funded by the mullahs must be closed. Financial transactions with the IRGC must be blocked. Otherwise the regime’s terrorism on our soil will escalate.
Iran is on the verge of a revolution. We must preempt any form of criminal and violent reaction by the regime.
We must recognize this regime is not leading to the best outcome for the people of Iran and the world.
Ian Mearns MP
The regime is a threat to the entire world with its interference and its support for terrorism. The situation of human rights is alarming. In recent months, we’ve seen further alarming developments with the clampdown on supporters of the PMOI, because the regime fears more protests.
It is time for the international community to recognize the struggle of the Iranian opposition and stand with the people of Iran. I support an inquiry into the regime’s human rights abuses. The international community must investigate Iran’s prisons and the situation of political prisoners.
Lord Ken Magginis
When we ask questions about the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, we get a puzzled look from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which says they don’t recognize it. That is very disturbing to us who know the truth of that horror.
I would like to see the members of the Iranian community in the UK to have the privilege of seeing their leader Maryam Rajavi coming to the UK.
It is through a visual and spoken approach that we will be able to win more support on the ground among UK citizens and create the atmosphere where we can acknowledge the NCRI members and their esteemed leader. We have got to maintain the objective of having Madam Rajavi amongst us when the time is right.
Roger Godsiff MP
Terror is the means by which the regime survives and stays in power. It’s how it carries out its policies and counters opposition. The regime’s terror can be traced all over the world. In recent years, the regime is engaging in attacks against its opponents on European soil with no regard to human life.
If these plots were successful, thousands of people would all have been killed. For what reason? Because, like the Iranian people supported a free and democratic Iran. The regime’s terrorism and suppression are two sides of the same coin. We cannot allow the regime to succeed in these evil aims. If Europe stands passively by and does nothing in face of the regime’s terrorist activities, then we will all be complicit in the regime’s atrocities.
Our governments must look at the brave Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance and how they stand against the regime. The endless negotiations for the sake of diplomacy has tilted the balance of power in favor of the regime instead of the people.
The Iranian people and Resistance movement bear the heavy task of changing the regime. The least we can do is to stand with the Iranian people and hold the regime to account.
Former Irish minister John Perry
Over 450 acts of terrorism by the Iranian regime have been documented by the NCRI since 2001. We also have a long list of hostage-taking operations against foreign nationals. After the December 2017 uprising, the secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council said he would take revenge on the MEK. The Iranian regime’s leaders planned to launch a terror attack against the NCRI in 2018.
Let’s get this clear. Regime officials believe they can conduct terrorism on European soil and if they get caught they can get away with more threats. The international community and European countries have failed with their silence and appeasement policy. We must stand against the regime’s terrorism and protect the opposition.
The time of appeasement must stop.
Gill Furniss MP
I have been shocked by repeated human rights violations of the Iranian regime. I condemn all violations of human rights. The UK and its allies have an obligation to protect human rights around the world, including the release of political prisoners in Iran.
Mousa Zahed, Director of the Middle East Forum for Development
The Iranian regime doesn’t care about diplomacy and diplomatic behavior. The regime’s embassy is engaged in planting bombs and plotting terror attacks. The message of appeasement by European countries has demonstrated to the theocracy that they can assassinate their opponents on European soil with impunity.
The international community needs to get together and adopt an approach against the mullahs’ terrorism.
Hossein Abedini, member of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee
I am a survivor of one of many terrorist attacks of the regime. I narrowly escaped death when my car was ambushed by so-called Iranian diplomats—terrorists—in Turkey. My liver and lungs were badly damaged in the attack after I was shot, and I have undergone many surgeries since then.
Forty days after I was attacked, Professor Kazem Rajavi was assassinated by regime diplomats in Geneva. The regime also assassinated NCRI representative Mohammad Hossein Naghdi in Italy a few years later.
The regime is desperately trying to prevent justice through blackmail and threats.
In May 2019 the NCRI exposed documents that showed how the regime uses its embassies to spread terror. The NCRI expects the UK and other European governments to respond firmly to the regime’s terror threat.
The IRGC is a central force of the regime’s repression in Iran and terrorism abroad. The IRGC only reports to the supreme leader Ali Khamenei and its mission is to keep him in power. The NCRI has launched a campaign to disband the IRGC and its funds allocated to the coronavirus response. The international community must support this campaign by designating the IRGC as a terrorist entity and supporting the people of Iran.
Mark Williams MP
The case of Assadollah Assadi is a chilling reminder of how low the regime will go to shut down the voice of dissent and suppress opponents. The tentacles of Tehran’s regime run deep and must face the united response of the international community. We will not tolerate terrorism on European soil.
We call on the government of the West to prosecute the IRGC and MOIS as terrorist organizations. They are terrorists and must be treated as such. Trade and diplomatic relations must be conditioned on ending terrorism. We must publicly name, shame and report terrorists and terrorism. We cannot be seen to appease terrorists.
The governments of the West must enter dialogue with Maryam Rajavi and the NCRI. We must support a free and secular Iran. The international community must be very clear and vocal in its condemnation of the Iranian regime’s terrorism.