At the initiative of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF), a cross-party group of MPs and peers, along with members of the Anglo-Iranian Community, joined together to celebrate the Persian New Year, Nowruz, with a reception in the UK Parliament on March 16, in solidarity with the people of Iran and their organized Resistance movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The MPs and peers condemned the Iranian regime’s violent crackdown on the uprising that has continued since September last year and expressed support for the popular uprising across Iran. They expressed hope that the new Persian year would be the year the people of Iran realized their aspiration of a free, democratic, and secular republic.
NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi addressed the event in a video message, thanking members of Parliament for their continued support of the Iranian people’s resistance and fight for freedom and democracy.
“Delaying to blacklist the IRGC and delaying to reactivate the UN resolutions will only result in the spread of more terrorism and warmongering abroad and will provide the regime with a chance to obtain nuclear weapons,” Mrs. Rajavi said in her remarks.
Cross-party MPs & Peers & members of the Anglo-Iranian Community celebrate #Nowruz in the UK Parliament, express solidarity with the people of #Iran, their organised Resistance movement, the NCRI & support Mrs Rajavi's 10-point plan#IranRevolutionhttps://t.co/Kdjcf3uHLY pic.twitter.com/Ot0PLljkKs
— Dowlat Nowrouzi (@DowlatNowrouzi) March 16, 2023
She also explained how promoting a return to the ousted Shah regime detracts the nationwide uprising from its main course and how people in their protests have rejected this.
“The people of Iran reject all forms of dictatorship, whether it be Shah’s regime or religious tyranny. They seek the Democratic Republic, and there is no doubt this will be achieved,” she said.
Bob Blackman MP, Co-president of the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran (ICPDI), reiterated his call for the UK government to proscribe the IRGC and refer to the UN Security Council the appalling human rights and terrorism dossier of the regime with the view of holding regime leaders to account for acts of terrorism and crimes against humanity in an international tribunal.
“We must start to hold the regime to account and act with firmness, the only two words dictators understand. I reiterate again here today what many of my cross-party colleagues in both Houses of the UK Parliament support and call for,” MP Blackman said.
It was great to celebrate Nowruz, the Iranian New Year today. I was joined by many colleagues from Parliament and the NCRI. I hope that next year we can celebrate this occasion in a free, democratic Iran! 🇮🇷 pic.twitter.com/3VfasjIrrM
— Bob Blackman (@BobBlackman) March 16, 2023
The Co-president of the BCFIF, Professor Lord David Alton, also said: “The UK should back the NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s call for a UN delegation with human rights experts and the Special Rapporteur on Iran to visit the country and meet with detained protesters and political prisoners.”
The MPs and peers also called for the UK to lead efforts and actions at the international level and at the UN to shift the balance of power from the regime to the Iranian people and the true representatives of their aspirations, the NCRI.
“The UK must lead efforts and actions at the international level and at the UN to shift the balance of power from the regime to the Iranian people and the true representatives of their aspirations, the NCRI,” MP Steve McCabe said, joining his colleagues in calling for broader support of the Iranian Resistance.
NCRI Nowruz @UKParliament today: "All of us here must continue to raise our voices.The people of Iran need every voice in their fight against a religious tyranny that has destroyed their homeland & deprived them of their most fundamental rights & freedoms"https://t.co/weAUvb2NT0 pic.twitter.com/xj7nqSLizh
— Lord (David) Alton (@DavidAltonHL) March 16, 2023
Other speakers and participants included Baroness Verma and MP Anna Firth, who urged the UK government to recognize Mrs. Rajavi’s 10-point plan as a viable roadmap to secure and advance women’s and girls’ rights in Iran and even the Middle East.
“With her 10-point plan and other platforms to secure women’s rights in the future of Iran, Mrs. Rajavi has shown the women of Iran will and can shoulder the responsibility and that women are indeed the force for change and the guarantor for a democratic Iran,” Firth said.
“The Iranian resistance wants freedom and democracy for the people of Iran. The uprising in Iran demonstrated the number of women involved in fighting for freedom and justice in Iran. We have seen the brutality of the regime, and I admire and congratulate the people of Iran for fighting this regime. The world is watching,” said the Rt Hon. Lord Dholakia.