“Real change is needed in Iran and that is only possible if the Iranian people can be freed to break through the wall of suppression,” Mr. Davis Jones, a prominent member of the British Parliament and former Secretary of State for Wales said in meeting of a delegation British parliamentarians meeting with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, in Paris on Friday.
Below is the text of speech by Rt. Hon. David Jones, at the meeting in which a statement by more than 200 cross-Party MPs and Peers were presented to Mrs. Rajavi calling on the UK government to adopt a firm policy towards the Iranian regime:
President Rajavi, Honourable Colleagues, Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a huge pleasure to be here today with many colleagues from all parties from both houses of Parliament.
And it is a particular pleasure, Madam Rajvi, to have the opportunity to meet you to discuss international concerns about Iran, and the future in the light of elections of the regime’s Parliament and Assembly of Experts.
As we just heard from President Rajavi, today is the 37th anniversary of the 1979 popular revolution against the shah, in which so many of you and particularly you Madam Rajavi, played such prominent part.
That was truly a popular Iranian revolution. But it that was stolen or as you put it high jacked by the clerical establishment headed by Khomeini, who betrayed the trust of the Iranian people and imposed an absolutist theocracy upon Iran.
For 37 years, a Supreme Leader has imposed upon the Iranian people a tyrannical rule which they call “the Islamic Republic.” That rule has been exerted through repression, the export of terrorism and the physical elimination of any political opposition or dissent.
You, the NCRI, and the supporters of the PMOI, know first-hand only too keenly of that persecution and the killings that has been executed in the name of that regime against those whose only crime was to reject that rule.
And those killings continue today most glaringly in the rocket attacks and inhumane restrictions that are placeed upon the residents of Camp Liberty.
While, we gather here to discuss and coordinate our efforts to promote the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran, the Iranian regime is “celebrating” the establishment of the continuation of its tyrannical rule, through repressive institutions such as the Basij and terrorist organisations such as the Revolutionary Guards Corp.
Anyone who still doubts the true character of Hassan Rouhani and what he stands for should be paying attention to the regime’s celebrations in Tehran.
Since he took office in 2013, there has been over 2300 executions in Iran, a coordinated crackdown on media and activists inside the country and four rocket attacks on Camp Liberty.
Now, reports from Iran in the run-up to elections have focused on candidate selection. The Guardian Council has been vetting candidates and that in itself clearly exposes the factional feuding that is going on. And some in the West, following the nuclear agreements, have characterized this process as a battle between “moderates” and “the hard-liners”.
However, the hard reality is that there is only one authority in Iran and that is Khamenei, the Supreme Leader. All those running for any office must among other things, satisfy two fundamental criteria:
– They must profess an obligation to “Islam” and the holy system of the Islamic Republic of Iran
– And they must express loyalty to the regime’s Constitution and the principle of the Absolute Rule of Clergy
How can any individual satisfy those two criteria and at the same time be a “reformer”. It is impossible to be a democrat while at the same time submitting to a theocracy.
While Rouhani is still fated in certain quarters of the West as a “moderate”. And he presides over deteriorating human rights situation, the execution of political dissidents, religious minorities, juveniles and women. And interference in the internal affairs of other countries continue while at the same time the organizations such the IRGC apparently thrive and indeed are lauded by the regime.
Consider what Rouhani said recently during a ceremony in Tehran paying tribute to those involved in the nuclear negotiations. He said: “Had it not been for our armed forces who guarded the security of this country and if our valiant commanders were not steadfast in Baghdad, Samara, Fallujah and Ramadi…, had they had not helped the Syrian government in Damascus and Aleppo, and were it not for the valour of the army, the IRGC, the Basij, and the Islamic Republic Security Forces, we would not have enjoyed the security that we needed to conduct such good negotiations,” in the Iranian nuclear deal.
As the PMOI, exposed earlier this month, “Over 7,000 people from Afghanistan have been sent to help prop up Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria … In recent years, Afghan refugees living in Iran have been tapped for this purpose. The Iranian regime has employed different tactics, including threatening deportation from Iran, imprisonment or even execution (all serious violations of human rights) to dispatch the Afghan refugees to Syria.”
And consider this report by the New York Times on Friday, February 5, “the Iranian companies with ties to the state, such as the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), are the only businesses benefiting from major contracts announced by European companies” in the post-sanction era.
So, whilst the Iranian regime gives to its mercenaries in Syria and the IRGC all sorts of favours, ordinary workers, teachers, and nurses in the public sector are suffering months-long delays in payment of their salaries which has become routine in Iran. And in many instances, this has led to protests across the country.
The increasing number of executions and coordinated crackdown and mobilisation of the repressive security organs is an effort by the system to prevent public uprisings. The support of the regime for Assad, and similar regimes abroad is an attempt by the Iranian regime to secure its own survival.
Colleagues, real change is needed in Iran and that is only possible if the Iranian people can be freed to break through the wall of suppression that has been raised by the regime and its leaders.
Madam Rajavi, you and your movement have spearheaded this struggle with a great deal of personal sacrifices, and it is therefore right that we British parliamentarians support you.
Because, what you want for Iran is quiet simply what we want indeed and what we expect for our nation, democracy, rule of law, multi-party system, gender equality and universal suffrage.
Our delegation here today supports your efforts to establish in your own homeland the values that you have summarised so eloquently in your 10-point plan.
I sincerely hope that our government begins to engage constructively both with us, as your supporters in Parliament, and also with what is the legitimate Iranian opposition coalition, the NCRI.
The British Government, acting alone, and in coordination with its western allies should peruse the cause that is set out in a statement that I am very happy to present to you here today. It has been supported by more than 200 members of both Houses of Parliament and it advances the implementation of among others the following constructive actions:
– making future economic relation with Tehran following the nuclear deal contingent upon tangible and concrete improvements of human rights, including the ending of executions; and truly free and fair elections in Iran that allow candidate to run on constructive platforms rather than simply swearing only to the Supreme Leader;
– refering Iran’s abysmal human rights record, including some of 120,000 political executions and seven attacks against Camp Ashrad and Liberty, to the UN Security Council to for adoption of binding and preventive measures. And also for the prosecution of the officials responsible for the human rights abuses in Iran before the International Tribunal;
– And acting to secure adequate protection for the Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty, who lead the way courageously in the struggle against the current theocracy in Iran.
Madam Rajavi, may I again on behalf of my colleagues say what a huge pleasure and a privilege it is to be here today. We wish you and your colleagues well in your courageous struggle and your tireless struggle to restore freedom and liberty to the people of Iran.