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Joint Session of NCRI Representatives with Irish Legislators Condemns Regime’s Terrorism Calls for Free Iran

ireland dublin parliament meeting ncri march 2024

On February 28th, representatives from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held discussions with members of both houses of the Irish Parliament in Dublin. In a video message, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran thanked Irish senators and parliamentarians for their support for the Iranian people and their solidarity with the Resistance movement.

Key speakers at the session included Senator Gerry Horkan, who presided over the meeting, Senator Erin McGreehan, Senator Mary Fitzpatrick, Senator Gerard Patrick Craughwell, Senator Malcolm Byrne, Representatives John Paul Phelan, John Lahart, James O’Connor, Padraig O’Sullivan, and Cathal Berry.

Mr. Hossein Abedini, deputy director of the NCRI Office in London joined the meeting while Mr. Farzin Hashemi, the deputy head of the Council’s Foreign Affairs Commission, participated in the session remotely.

Irish parliamentarians emphasized the alignment of the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people with the security and economic interests of the European Union, considering the regime as a serious threat to Europe’s future and prosperity.

They agreed that while the regime’s intervention poses an immediate foreign policy challenge, the only viable solution lies within Iran itself, through democratic change led by organized Resistance. Members of the Irish Parliament and Senate acknowledged Iran’s escalating regional conflicts as a cover for unprecedented executions, harassment of democratic dissenters in Iran and Europe, and intensified domestic oppression.

They recognized the inevitability of change in Iran, asserting that the Iranian people demand freedom and a democratic alternative for their future, articulated by Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan and supported by a nationwide protest movement led by women and Resistance Units across the country.

Senators and representatives called on the Irish government and the European Union to recognize the Iranian people’s right to defend themselves against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other suppressive forces. Furthermore, they urged Ireland to collaborate with other EU member states in designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization and prioritize this issue on its agenda.

In his remarks, Senator Gerry Horkan said, “The Iranian Resistance predicted and warned about this outcome a very long time ago, way back in early 1990, with their book Islamic Fundamentalism: The New Global Threat. And yet our diplomats and governments ignored this warning and vilified the Iranian Resistance in the hope that this would convince the regime to alter its unacceptable behavior and stop threatening our security and interests. And now, unfortunately, the growing international and European consensus is that the regime poses a very serious threat to the stability of the region and world peace, and we see the region is in a lot of turmoil at the moment, we know well, and it is only logical for us to listen to the NCRI for their solution to counter what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East region particularly, but also in the wider world.”

He added, “The NCRI, led by its President-elect, Madam Rajavi, has put forward a democratic platform, and I think it’s very important we stress that it’s a democratic platform where the people of Iran can choose their politicians that they want to govern them and equally can re-choose at a different time a different set of politicians to govern them, and has created a network of affiliated Resistance Units across their country to advance the Iranian people’s fight for establishing a free democratic republic in Iran.”

Emphasizing the need for the European Union (EU) to hold Tehran accountable for its disruptive activities in the Middle East, Senator Horkan commended the NCRI for its democratic platform and grassroots efforts, calling for EU support.

He urged the EU to endorse Mrs. Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan and recognize the Iranian people’s right to resist the regime. Senator Horkan advocated for the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization and targeted sanctions against regime leaders. He acknowledged the Iranian people’s boycott of the regime’s elections, signaling their rejection of the ruling establishment.

Senator Erin McGreehan reflected on her experience attending a women’s conference in Paris, highlighting the vibrant atmosphere contrasted with the sobering stories shared by Iranian women and their families. She emphasized the significance of holding such conferences outside Iran due to restrictions imposed by the regime, denouncing it as a “disgraceful tragedy” and labeling it a “terrorist regime.”

The senator urged Western democracies, including Ireland, to acknowledge the impact of their trade dealings with regimes like Iran, emphasizing the human cost borne by women and dissenters. She stressed the importance of raising awareness about the regime’s oppressive actions and supporting efforts for democracy and freedom in Iran.

Senator McGreehan said, “[In Iran), we see a fight for independence, a fight for democracy, a fight for our own voice to be heard, to be listened to and adhered to and the importance of, as we call it, what is said in our proclamation is the exiled children and the importance of the exiled children and the importance of those all around the world spreading the word of Iranian democracy, Iranian freedom and that the Iran that we see at the minute, the Iranian government that we see at the minute is not the Iranian people and that we need to be far more active in pushing to support the Resistance.”

Senator Malcolm Byrne highlighted the significant role Iran’s regime plays in supporting groups like Hamas, the Houthis, and Hezbollah, stressing the interconnectedness of global issues with Iran’s activities. He underscored Ireland’s role in multilateral institutions like the EU and the UN, where it advocates for critical dialogue.

Expressing concern over Tehran’s emergence as a hub for cybercrime and disinformation, Senator Byrne said, “The cyberspace, which is obviously a deep concern that we have, that Iran is now becoming a global center for disinformation, that has a particular impact obviously here, and there is some evidence of Iran, like China and North Korea and Russia, taking a more active role in cybercrime, and that’s something that we have particular worries about.”

Concluding his remarks, Senator Byrne expressed his willingness to support the pursuit of a democratic Iran.

Senator Mary Fitzpatrick expressed deep gratitude and admiration for the bravery and courage of those fighting in Iran for basic human rights. Recognizing the importance of fighting not just for oneself but also for others, she pledged unwavering support for their cause.

Emphasizing Ireland’s limited power but significant influence on the global stage, Senator Fitzpatrick highlighted the importance of utilizing this influence in various international organizations.

Drawing on the values of equality and democracy, Senator Fitzpatrick affirmed Ireland’s commitment to supporting the campaign for freedom and democracy.

Senator Gerard Craughwell recounted his experiences in Iran, shedding light on the challenges posed by the regime and its cruel extortion tactics. Reflecting on his visit to Iran, Senator Craughwell highlighted the regime’s opaque and manipulative tactics, particularly regarding the release of an Irish citizen detained in the country. He described a disturbing encounter with Iranian officials in Bahrain, where negotiations were fraught with deception and coercion.

Craughwell expressed his thoughts on the deterioration of diplomatic trust with Iran, emphasizing the regime’s evasive maneuvers and disregard for international norms. He underscored the importance of scrutinizing Tehran’s role in facilitating illicit trade, including the transfer of drone technology with Irish components.

Addressing concerns about cyber security, the Senator cautioned against overlooking Iran’s capabilities in this realm, urging a comprehensive approach to address emerging threats.

In conclusion, Senator Craughwell reiterated his commitment to supporting efforts for transparency and accountability in diplomatic engagements.

Mr. John Paul Phelan, a member of the Irish parliament and former Minister of Housing, Planning, and Local Government, emphasized the need for greater recognition of the Iranian regime’s destabilizing role in the Middle East and beyond, urging governments, including Ireland’s, to acknowledge the severity of the situation. Expressing empathy for Iranians who have sought refuge in Ireland and elsewhere, he underscored the longing for their homeland and the desire to see Iran realize its full potential as a democratic republic.

The MP said, “I fully subscribe to the views, the demands, and the calls of the NCRI in terms of a fully democratic republic of Iran. I think it is an achievable objective. I admire everyone who is fighting the fight, even though I know at times it must not be easy, and must feel very difficult, and knowing that you have family and friends back living under this regime.”

Regarding diplomatic relations, MP Phelan expressed relief at the apparent reluctance to reopen an embassy in Tehran, asserting that such a move would be detrimental not only to Ireland but also to the Iranian people.

In conclusion, Phelan called for continued efforts to promote democratic principles in Iran and to support the aspirations of its populace for meaningful change. He reiterated his commitment to working alongside activists to advance the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran.

Pádraig O’Sullivan, a member of the Irish Parliament, expressed his solidarity with Iranian exiles and their struggle for freedom and democracy. Reflecting on his attendance at a women’s rights conference in Paris on February 24, MP O’Sullivan emphasized the emotional difficulty faced by Iranian exiles in discussing the plight of their loved ones back home, who endure imprisonment and persecution under the Iranian regime.

The Irish lawmaker underscored the importance of international support for the Iranian people’s quest for a free and democratic Iran. Drawing on Ireland’s diplomatic standing, he called for greater scrutiny of individuals within the regime accused of corruption and human rights abuses.

MP O’Sullivan said, “I think the Irish government and the EU as a wider body needs to do more in terms of investigating allegations of what be it war crimes, be it corruption, whatever the case may be, against individuals. I think that’s important to highlight that are part of the regime. And if we can do it in relation to other nations, in relation to bringing cases to an international court or whatever the case may be, I think the EU as a wider body politic needs to take that call seriously and needs to respect that.”

Referencing Ireland’s own historical struggles, MP O’Sullivan highlighted the country’s respected voice in international diplomacy and pledged his continued support for the Iranian people’s cause.

Addressing the meeting, Farzin Hashemi highlighted the regime’s violent suppression of the 2022 uprising, which resulted in the deaths of 750 individuals and the arbitrary arrest of 30,000 protesters. He emphasized the regime’s continued human rights violations, including reports of systematic sexual violence against detainees.

Moreover, Mr. Hashemi condemned the regime’s campaign of intimidation against political prisoners and dissidents, including supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), who have been unjustly sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Despite the regime’s efforts to suppress dissent, the NCRI FAC member noted the resilience of the Iranian people and the growing momentum of the Resistance movement. He underscored the regime’s desperation to maintain power, evident in its manipulation of the parliamentary elections and its destabilizing activities in the region.

Mr. Hashemi criticized the EU policy of appeasement towards Iran, urging member states to recognize the Iranian people’s right to resist oppression and to support efforts for regime change. In conclusion, he stressed the urgency of addressing the crisis in Iran and called for global solidarity in support of the Iranian people’s aspirations for freedom and democracy.

In his remarks at the Irish Parliament, human rights activist Amir Seifi urged politicians to take decisive action against the Iranian regime’s egregious human rights violations and its export of conflict and terror beyond Iran’s borders.

Highlighting the day’s discourse on the Iranian regime’s numerous atrocities, Mr. Seifi emphasized the urgency of practical steps to address the longstanding issues. He noted a significant shift within the Irish Parliament, where there is now a resolute rejection of the regime’s propaganda.

Mr. Seifi said, “I think what we need to do is to encourage as many members as possible of Parliament here in Ireland to follow your example and those of countless supporters, long-standing supporters of the NCRI. And through that, and by putting more pressure on the Irish government, we need to make sure that it starts adopting a firm policy vis-à-vis Iran, and to start taking practical and effective steps against the regime, including but not limited to proscribing and sanctioning the IRGC, and also holding the regime’s officials accountable.”