On Thursday, November 16, a conference was held in the Australian Parliament in Canberra to mark the fourth anniversary of Iran’s November 2019 uprising. The event was organized by the Australian Supporters of Democracy in Iran and brought together several representatives from the Australian Parliament to commemorate those who have fallen during the nationwide uprising and condemn the clerical dictatorship’s severe human rights violations and disruptive interventions in the region.
Speakers at the session included senators and members of parliament from various political parties in Australia, such as Senator Matt O’Sullivan, Senator David Shoebridge, MPs Rowan Ramsey and Susan Templeman, Peter Murphy, and representatives from Iranian communities and Iranian doctors in Australia.
In a message to the conference, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, stated, “Peace in the Middle East is like a hanging noose for the regime. For this reason, it has disrupted the path to peace and conspired against the Palestinian government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as much as it could over the past 30 years. It even plotted the assassination of President Mahmoud Abbas. Over the past four decades, the Iranian regime has acted as a force against stability in the Middle East, involving itself in numerous conflicts and exporting terrorism and fundamentalism. Such actions are sanctioned by the regime’s constitution and described as “export of revolution.”
“The regime’s survival depends on three main pillars: ruthless repression at home, warmongering by meddling in other nations, and obtaining a nuclear bomb.
“The ongoing tragedy in the Middle East should serve as a wake-up call for the international community to realize that the head of the snake is in Iran. A comprehensive and firm policy toward the Iranian regime cannot wait any longer. Appeasement of the mullahs’ regime will only expose the Middle East and the world to a destructive and devastating war.
“Recently, it was revealed that the regime had recruited a number of so-called experts and formed a network known as the “Iran Expert Initiative.” These individuals infiltrated to European and American media, think tanks, and even government agencies and institutions. They spread false information and promoted the Iranian regime’s claims. Their mission is to portray the regime as a stable government with no viable and democratic alternative. In this way, they justify the policy of appeasement.
“The 2022 nationwide uprising left no doubt that the regime is not stable and the Iranian people seek regime change. They desire a democratic system, rejecting both the previous monarchy and the current rule of the mullahs. Their demands include a democratic republic, free elections, the separation of religion and state, gender equality, freedom of expression and assembly, the abolition of the death penalty, a non-nuclear Iran, and autonomy for national ethnicities within Iran’s territorial integrity like the NCRI plan for the Kurdish region. The time has come for the international community and all democratic nations to adopt a decisive and firm policy regarding the religious dictatorship in Iran and support the legitimate right of the Iranian people to confront the repressive Revolutionary Guards and ultimately overthrow this regime. The IRGC must be designated as a terrorist entity and severe sanctions should be imposed on the regime.”
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) November 18, 2023
MP Peter Murphy, Co-Chair of the Australian Committee of Democracy Supporters in Iran, who was moderating this session, said, “The government in Iran is deeply involved in this situation through its financing and arming of its terrorist proxy forces in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. And it’s misusing its interpretation of Islam to justify its creation of instability, war, and destruction in the region. On the internal front in Iran, the latest information is that 91 prisoners were executed in October.
“And 78 people have been executed in the last few weeks in November. A further 25 people were killed by state forces without the charade of a trial and a formal hanging. This is actually a massive escalation in the executions and killings, which are deployed to terrorize the community, to reduce their levels of resistance and uprising. But in truth, it only provokes greater resistance. So, these executions and murders are on top of over 120,000 political killings since 1980. And I particularly note that there were 1,500 protesters killed in November 2019 in one type of incident.
“So the Iranian resistance has issued hundreds of documents over many years to expose the regime and this strategy as the main source of terrorism and fundamentalism in the region and the world. The current UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Professor Javad Rehman, has called this regime out for its crimes against humanity. Right now, Khamenei has added Iran’s voice to the calls for de-escalation in Palestine and Gaza. But any de-escalation is just a pause before a return to the perpetual state of conflict that the regime deems necessary to maintain its hold on power. Occasional skirmishes involving Tehran-backed terrorist groups in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories targeting Israel, the civil war in Yemen, and the atrocities in Syria that sustained Bashar al-Assad’s regime, all serve a singular purpose. They are tools for Khamenei’s survival. We are challenged here today to support the Iranian people’s call for an end to the impunity of this dangerous regime. We want to support the call of the Iranian people for a democratic republic to really enable the UN Human Rights Council to investigate and do its work.”
Reflecting on the situation in Iran, MP Rowan Ramsey noted that conditions in the country have worsened since the last time he addressed a similar event. He empathized with the audience, acknowledging the difficulty of witnessing one’s home country facing repression and tragedy. He also expressed concern about the confrontation in the Middle East, attributing the situation to terrorist groups backed by the Iranian regime.
MP Ramsey emphasized the need to oppose such brutality and called for an end to these conditions in both Iran and the Gaza Strip. He assured the audience of his support and willingness to do what he could to address these issues.
The ongoing tragedy in the #MiddleEast should serve as a wake-up call for the international community to realize that the head of the snake is in #Iran. A comprehensive and firm policy toward the Iranian regime cannot wait any longer.
Appeasement of the mullahs’ regime will only… pic.twitter.com/s4Lps3DgcV
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) November 18, 2023
Senator Matt O’Sullivan emphasized the coalition’s support for Australian government sanctions, advocating for additional measures against leaders of the Iranian regime. Senator O’Sullivan suggested listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization, urging bipartisan support for such action. He also called for minimizing Australia’s diplomatic relationship with Tehran. Senator O’Sullivan reaffirmed standing with the Iranian people and expressed a desire to learn more from the gathered information.
Senator David Shoebridge explained his belief in imposing robust sanctions against the Iranian regime and its key figures who oppress the Iranian people. Adding that the regime intentionally escalates tensions in the region, Senator Shoebridge stated that Tehran is creating crises to serve its own interests.
Senator Shoebridge also mentioned that discussions have commenced in the Australian parliament on amending laws to enforce sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, with the aim of targeting this criminal organization that destabilizes the Middle East. He expressed hope for advancements in this area by the end of the year.
Dowlat Nowruzi, the NCRI Representative in the UK, expressed gratitude for the collective concern about Iran, emphasizing its significance in addressing the crises involving Iran and the region. Ms. Nowruzi highlighted the volatile situation in both Iran and the Middle East, attributing the root cause to the ruling theocracy and religious dictatorship in Iran. Advocating for a decisive policy approach, he pointed to the ongoing nationwide uprisings in Iran, particularly since September 2022, and stressed the importance of supporting the Iranian people’s demands for a democratic republic.
Ms. Nowruzi called for the revival of the six UN Security Council resolutions, advocating comprehensive sanctions against the Iranian regime to curb its use of resources for domestic repression, terrorism, and expansionist policies.