They call for the prosecution of human rights abusers in Iran, including president Raisi, and; urge UK to support the people of Iran and their Resistance movement

Dozens of members from both Houses of Parliament and members of the Anglo-Iranian community in the UK attended a Persian New Year reception held on the eve of Nowruz in the Jubilee Room in Westminster.

The cross-party MPs and Peers expressed their support for the Iranian people, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the popular protests across the country despite the state crackdown.

They condemned the crackdown on anti-regime protests and arrest of protesters and NCRI supporters in Iran as a sign of the regime's weakness challenged by a rising popular movement for change.

Cross-party members from both Houses of Parliament and members of the Anglo-Iranian community in the UK attend a Persian New Year reception held on the eve of Nowruz in the Jubilee Room in Westminster, March 2022


In a message to the event, the NCRI President-elect, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, thanked the MPs and Peers for supporting the Iranian people and the cause of human rights in Iran and said:

"The world is facing a critical situation and at the same time the regime is engulfed with crises of survival without any solution.

"Iran's ruling dictatorship is now at the weakest point of its rule in the past 43 years. Social discontent is widespread because of poverty, corruption and repression. Since 2018 alone, eight major nationwide uprisings have shaken Iran. During the November 2019 uprising, the regime brutally killed at least 1,500 people.

"By installing the butcher of the 1988 massacre, Ebrahim Raisi, as president, Khamenei tried to brutally suppress the growing uprisings of the Iranian people, and pave the way for obtaining a nuclear bomb.

"However ... the popular uprisings and the activities of the organized Resistance and the Resistance Units have brought the prospect of the regime’s overthrow much closer than ever. Regime officials, including Khamenei, warn against this prospect and the role of the People's Mojahedin.

"Under such circumstances, instead of making concessions to the regime in the hope of forcing it to halt its nuclear weapons program, the international community should adopt a decisive policy.

"Decisiveness in the face of this regime is an inevitable imperative. Because a lack of firmness sends the message that they will never be held accountable for their criminal acts and that they should continue their disruptive policies.

"I call on all of you, the elected representatives of the British people, and the supporters of the Iranian Resistance, to urge the British government to lead an initiative in support of the people of Iran and their Resistance to overthrow this regime."

The co-president of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF), Dr Matthew Offord MP, reaffirmed the cross-party support for NCRI's call for a decisive policy and said: "We call on the Government to adopt a firm policy on Iran that includes proscribing the entire IRGC as a foreign terrorist organisation and human rights sanctions against the regime's current president Raisi."

"We urge the UK Government to stand with the Iranian people and their resistance movement led by Madam Rajavi. We ask our ministers and government to recognise Madam Rajavi's 10-point plan for future Iran that encompasses the true democratic aspirations of the Iranian people as the viable alternative to the mullahs' brutal rule."

The cross-party MPs speaking at the event stressed that the regime's intensified crackdown and increasing number of executions since Ebrahim Raisi took office as president reveal the importance of an international accountability process to end impunity in Iran.

President of the BCFIF, the Rt Hon David Jones MP addresses the New Year Reception in Parliament.


They also highlighted the involvement of Raisi in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988, a majority of them members of Iran's main opposition, the PMOI/MEK, documented by the UN and Amnesty International.

The BCFIF President, Rt Hon David Jones MP, said: "The regime feels the pressure from growing popular protests and dissent and louder global calls for accountability, as we saw in the latest report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran calling for an international investigation into the 1988 massacre and other human rights violations in Iran.

"The regime is more desperate and weaker than ever it has been in its history. And it sees Madam Rajavi's 10-point democratic platform gaining international support and recognition as the viable democratic alternative to its ruling religious dictatorship, despite Tehran's billion dollar defamation and propaganda campaign."

Bob Blackman MP, President of the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran, added, "To end impunity for regime leaders, we must hold them accountable for their human rights violations and call them out on their crimes against humanity. And in this regard, my colleagues and I have tabled the EDM615, with 40 cross-party signatories so far, which calls on the Government to seek a UN Commission of Inquiry into the 1988 massacre; and recognises 19 July as the day to remember victims of the 1988 massacre."

The BCFIF co-president, Steve McCabe MP, stressed that "Had the international community held the regime, Supreme Leader Khamenei and Raisi to account for the massacre and extrajudicial executions of 30,000 political prisoners in the country’s prisons in 1988, they would not be around, and the regime and its senior officials would think twice before opening fire and killing 1500 protesters in November 2019. That is why I have joined and signed the EDM615 my colleague Bob mentioned, because our Government must act now to hold the regime to account.

"The mullahs cannot withstand the growing support for the pro-democracy opposition NCRI and the popular dissent. Their dictatorship is weak and crumbling from its core."

Rt Hon Sir Roger Gale MP concurred and said, "The international community must reject the religious dictatorship in Iran and stand with the people and their Resistance movement NCRI who are making great personal sacrifice to advance the cause of freedom, human rights and democracy.  The UK must also act to secure accountability because there are no prosperity in Iran without justice."

Rt Hon John Spellar MP added, "We must also remember that the regime in Iran is complementing its domestic oppression with spreading terrorism and destabilising the region. This is the two-prong approach by the regime because it can only survive by creating more chaos and killings.

"I believe the only way for us to prevent this worrying trend is through accountability and that is why I have signed the EDM615 Recognising the 1988 massacre in Iran."

Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE concluded, "I believe that we in the West and the International community should recognise and support the Iranian Resistance movement led by women, a popular. democratic alternative grown out of the Iranian society and ask the UK to stand with Madam Rajavi, her Resistance movement and the Iranian people."

Speakers at the event also included, Anna Firth MP and representatives of various Anglo-Iranian associations.

British Committee for Iran Freedom

14 March 2022