At a conference that was held at the UK parliament to commemorate Iran’s 2022 uprising a year on, former UK Secretary of Defense and MP Liam Fox emphasized the ongoing threat posed by the Iranian regime, which extends beyond Iran’s borders. Mr. Fox praised the bravery and determination of those who survived the regime’s atrocities and expressed his commitment to ensuring that such horrors are never repeated in Iran.
Mr. Fox called on the British government to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and advocated for the freedom and birthright of the Iranian people to live in a free society. He cautioned against interference in Iran’s future and emphasized the importance of Iranians freely choosing their leaders.
In conclusion, Fox urged the international community to support the Iranian people’s quest for freedom, emphasizing that the goal is not to hand Iran over to others but to give Iranians the freedom they deserve.
The text of MP Liam Fox’s speech follows:
Sometimes, when you get an introduction like that, it feels better to quit while you’re ahead. It’s a tremendous honor for me to be here this morning, like Baroness Ledfer and I. I was at the Albania conference when we were victims of regime terror threats that led to the abandonment of that particular occasion, and fortunately, we got through the Paris event this year without mishap. But it’s a constant warning that the tentacles of the Iranian regime reach far and wide and well beyond the borders of Iran itself, something that everybody in the democratic world would do well to remember at all times.
For me, the importance of a year on from Mahsa Amini is not to remember the brutal treatment of an innocent young woman. Its importance lies in the wider, particularly the international reminder, not only of the brutality and the inhumanity of the regime in Iran but also the belief system and culture of the mullahs, which have no respect for any of the values that we take as the norm in the international community or in the system of international law.
I spoke when I visited Ashraf earlier this year, and like many of you here, I’ll have seen the reminders of those loved ones who were taken, sometimes never to be seen again, of those who told their stories of torture and brutality at the hands of the regime, the moving and pitiful places of execution used by the regime.
And I said then that my overwhelming memory was not of the horrors, of the brutality, of the inhumanity. It was the bravery, dignity, and determination of those who had survived to see that these things were never repeated again against the innocent people of Iran. And I found it incredibly moving.
But I wanted to say one or two things about where we go from here. The first thing is to understand and get the international community to understand what we are dealing with. Because it’s not just that it’s an undemocratic system in Iran, it is a religious obscenity. It is the appropriation of God for political purposes. To say we are the unique and righteous instruments of God, therefore if you resist us, you are by implication heretical and anti-God and therefore can fall within whatever punishments of whatever extreme interpretation of religion that we want to place.
That is a system that must be fundamentally discredited and ultimately destroyed. Because as I say, it is a religious obscenity that we mustn’t tolerate.
On the anniversary of the brutal death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Iranian regime, I had the honour to speak to members of the Iranian resistance movement. Whose courage and determination is a signpost for all those who seek freedom, democracy and justice. pic.twitter.com/7itgByZXPF
— Dr Liam Fox MP (@LiamFox) September 12, 2023
And I’ve often described Iran if you’ll bear with me in this way, that it is not the usual thugocracy. And by thugocracy we can think of the criminal states that exist around the world, Putin’s Russia or Belarus, and so on. Iran is actually worse than that. It is a thugocracy but with a dangerous and malignant theocracy sitting on top of it. And it makes it even more deadly and dangerous than some of the other regimes that we see.
The thugocracy part is applied by the IRGC. We have the religious mania and extremism of the ideological mullahs sitting at the top, but they alone would not be able to impose their will were it not without the physical means of the IRGC. They are the instrument of thugocracy. They’re part of an indispensable part of the chain of hostage-taking. They control much of the means of production in Iran.
It is inconceivable that the drones that are currently being used by Russia against the Ukrainian people could have been supplied to Russia without the full cooperation of the IRGC. Therefore, they are implicated in crimes against humanity and war crimes because of what they have done. They are the iron fist of the Supreme Leader at home and they’re the export bureau for terror abroad and instability in the region.
These are just a few of the reasons why the British government should be prescribing the IRGC and the case I will be making tomorrow night in the House of Commons.
When I finished speaking at Ashraf, I listened to many, especially young people, talking about how they had endured abuses of the legal process, the diminution of any sort of self-expression, and the fact that they were not allowed at all to exercise any political freedom.
And I said to them, well, I feel a bit guilty being here because I grew up in a country with complete freedom of speech, with complete freedom of religious worship, with complete freedom of political activity. And these were my birthright, but they are also their birthright. It’s just that their birthright was stolen by the Islamic revolution and continues to be held prisoner by the regime put into place by the IRGC.
My final message would be this: I hear many people around the world, and you know who I refer to, claiming that they are the natural heirs to governance in Iran and that they have a right to take the place once the Mullahs fall. And I would finally end with this, that nobody has the right to lead free Iranian people other than those freely chosen by free Iranian people themselves.
And as we go forward and tackle the evils of the malignant regime in Tehran, let us always remember that we are not there to hand Iran over to anyone else or to assist in the process, but to give the people of Iran their birthright, which is the freedom that we already enjoy.
No one disagrees that Wagner are an evil, dangerous and malign grouping. But I would argue that they are no worse than the IRGC. I urge the government to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist organisation. pic.twitter.com/9sv3cKz96r
— Dr Liam Fox MP (@LiamFox) September 13, 2023