Lord Alton of Liverpool sent the following letter to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz urging them to work with the international community at the upcoming ministerial on Middle East in Warsaw on 13-14 February to address and counteract Iran’s destabilising role in the region.
The letter was also supported by over a dozen cross-party members from both Houses of Parliament.
Letter to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Polish Foreign Minister, the Hon. Jacek Czaputowicz
21 January 2019
Dear Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Czaputowicz,
I write to you on behalf of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) to applaud your decision to organise and jointly host the Ministerial to promote a future of peace and security in the Middle East in Warsaw on 13-14 February.
The Ministerial comes at a very timely moment considering the recent decision by the EU to include the Directorate for Internal Security of the Iranian Ministry for Intelligence and Security and two individuals, one of them an Iranian diplomat, on the European list of individuals, groups and entities involved in acts of terrorism.
The European decision is taken in response to a surge of terrorist activities in Europe by the regime in Iran last year including a foiled bomb plot against the gathering of the Iranian resistance movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on 30 June 2018, in Villepinte, Paris. This was confirmed by our Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the French Foreign Ministry on 8 January 2019.
Targets of the foiled plot in Paris were Iranian dissidents who give voice to the democratic aspiration of the Iranian people, clearly manifested by the growing popular protests across Iran in 2018.
President Trump pointed to this fact in his letter to the Government of Albania on 14 December 2018 thanking Prime Minister Edi Rama for his “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilising activities” by “expelling Iran’s Ambassador to his country”.
Tehran's increased terrorist activities in Europe, its test of ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolution and brutal crackdown of the peaceful protests in the country, only underscores the need to focus on Iran’s domestic repression and its destabilising role in the region. This is inline with the remarks by you, Secretary Pompeo, in Cairo stressing that the US “joined the Iranian people in calling for freedom and accountability”.
Therefore, Iran's state sponsor of terrorism, ballistic missile programme and human rights violations should top the agenda of the ministerial in February and seek an international coalition to address these major concerns, because we believe, the regime in Tehran is the greatest threat to the future peace, security and stability in the Middle East today.
Furthermore, we believe that any global coalition and international policy in order to successfully address and counter these threats must include Iranian pro-democracy voices and recognise the legitimate resistance movement of the Iranian people.
Last year, over 75 cross-party colleagues of mine in the UK House of Parliament supported a parliamentary motion which strongly condemned the attempted bombing at the gathering of the Iranian opposition in Paris, and Iran's regime over its terrorist activities in Europe and misuse of diplomatic privileges.
The motion called for a robust policy to confront Iran's malign activities and reiterated that incident in Paris demonstrated the regime's fear of the National Council of Resistance of Iran coalition as the democratic alternative to its rule. In recent month, Senior Iranian Officials including the President and Supreme Leader have in public speeches and statements blamed the this opposition for organising the anti-regime protests that are spreading across Iran.
Rest assured that we will continue to support your efforts to counteract Iran’s destabilising role in the region and back any punitive measure that deny the regime in Tehran and its repressive forces like the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) the necessary fund to step up their terrorist operations abroad and to intensify their domestic crackdown and persecution.
I thank you for considering this letter and look forward to your response.
Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool
Independent Crossbench Member of the House of Lords.