The co-president of the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran, Bob Blackman MP issued the following press release on Thursday, 17 December, following the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee publishing its report, No prosperity without justice: the UK’s relationship with Iran.
The House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee published a report titled “No prosperity without justice: the UK’s relationship with Iran” on 16 December 2020.
The Foreign Affairs Committee states: “Iran’s malign regional actions challenge the values which underpin British foreign policy. International cooperation, safeguarding human rights, and upholding the rule of law are all weakened by Tehran.”
The British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) and the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran wholeheartedly endorse and commend the work done by our colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Committee and share their recommendations to the Government in dealing with Iran.
The report asks that the UK government to “recognize and address the threat posed to ordinary people by the Iranian state.” It also urges “proscribing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety for its clear and enduring support for terrorists and non-state actors working to undermine stability in the region.” We entirely agree with this timely and important recommendation.
The IRGC is the main body responsible for the bloody crackdown on peaceful demonstrations by the Iranian people in November 2019, as noted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran. In addition, for years it has been wreaking havoc throughout the Middle East, as a result of which tens of thousands of innocent citizens have died.
Recalling that an Iranian diplomat was arrested in 2018 for masterminding a terror plot against the annual gathering of the NCRI near Paris, which, if not foiled, could have resulted in hundreds of deaths, and that Belgian federal prosecutors concluded that the attack had been ordered by the highest authorities in Iran, we consider the proscription of the IRGC as a terrorist entity is an appropriate initiative and should be complimented by a reduction of Iranian diplomatic representations in the UK as Tehran has continuously exploited its embassies for terrorist ends.
The report’s recommendation on making adequate use of “Magnitsky-Style Sanctions to target human rights abusers within Iran and acting for it abroad” is well placed.
The letter sent by seven UN Special Rapporteurs to the Iranian government in September 2020 states that “there is a systemic impunity enjoyed by those who ordered and carried out the extrajudicial executions” in 1988, which can be specified as crimes against humanity, making it subject to the said sanctions regime.
We totally agree with the conclusion of the reports which states: “The prime victims of the Iranian regime are the Iranian people. The UK needs to continue to express support for those suffering under the violence of the regime.”
Bob Blackman MP
Co-President of the International Committee
of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran
17 December 2020