The British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) issued the following statement as Ebrahim Raisi was announced as the new president in Iran:

Elections in Iran are neither free, fair nor representative. It reflects the will of the unelected Supreme Leader and serves as a process to further strengthen the theocracy’s grip on power to the detriment of the Iranian people. This was made clear again on June 18 as the Iranian people rejected the theocracy in its entirety with a widespread national boycott of the presidential election farce.

Raisi had an extensive role in the regime’s current and past crimes against humanity, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners and PMOI members and supporters in Iran as well as the killing of 1500 protesters and torture of thousands of arrested protesters during and after the nationwide protests in November 2019.

The UK Government must now join the Iranian people, reject and condemn Raisi’s selection as president and publicly support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people and their legitimate Resistance movement NCRI for change in Iran.

Sir David Amess MP, co-chairman of the BCFIF, said: “The people of Iran answered the call by the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Mrs Maryam Rajavi and completely boycotted the election farce in Iran. This shows the growing support the NCRI enjoys in Iran and the success of the activities of its Resistance Units inside the country.

“The BCFIF supports the call by NCRI president-elect for Raisi to be investigated and face justice in an international tribunal. This issue must be a priority for the UK Government during the 47th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

Prof. Lord Alton of Liverpool said: “In a press conference on Monday 21 June, Raisi went before the entire world and defended his role in the mass executions of dissidents and political prisoners in Iran. Sanctions relief for Iran at this moment and mere focus on the nuclear issue will only embolden the regime to intensify its crackdown at home in response to the growing popular protests and dissent against the theocracy.

“At an international level and in the UN the UK Government must take the lead to demand and secure an independent, international inquiry into the killing of 1500 protesters in 2019 as well as the 1988 massacre.

“Along with 40 former UN officials,  in a letter in May, I called for the prosecution of those responsible. The UK should also work with the EU to impose sanctions on Raisi and other  leaders of the regime for their involvement in serious human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in Iran, using the Magnitsky style sanctions.”

Andrew Rosindell MP, Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said: “With Raisi as president, the regime is signalling that it will continue its repression, persecution of popular dissent and export of terrorism.

“As we said in our 5th report following the enquiry into the UK's relationship with Iran: There is no prosperity without justice, It is time for our government to follow the recommendations in our report which includes proscribing the IRGC in its entirety and taking steps to end the impunity of Iranian officials by holding the regime to account for its support of terrorism and systematic human rights abuses.”

British Committee for Iran Freedom

22 June 2021