- Call on the UK Government to urgently proscribe the IRGC; support the popular, democratic alternative represented by the NCRI and its President-elect, Mrs Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan

At a conference in the UK Parliament today, cross-party Members of Parliament, representatives of the democratic Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and various Anglo-Iranian associations marked the one-year anniversary of the popular uprising in Iran.

Massive protests erupted across Iran following the tragic death of Mahsa Amini last year and have continued despite a violent crackdown by authorities, including the killing of 750 protesters and arresting over 30,000 more including children.

Participants commended the resilience and progress of the anti-regime movement as a reflection of the Iranian people’s strong desire and demand for democratic change.

Speakers welcomed the sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and regime officials responsible for human rights abuses and urged the Government to urgently proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist organisation.

They also emphasised that the future of Iran lies in the hands of its people and asked the Government to throw UK support behind the popular, democratic alternative represented by the NCRI and its president-elect, Mrs Maryam Rajavi.

Anna Firth MP announced a statement recognising the bravery and prominence of women in the struggle against both monarchical and religious dictatorships, and said:

““It speaks volumes that over a thousand prominent women from five continents and 67 countries have [endorsed this] joint statement expressing their support for the courageous women of Iran and emphasising their pivotal role in this uprising.

“We have 50 current and former Presidents, Vice presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers as well as 175 parliamentarians, Nobel Prize laureates, artists and athletes.

“In this historic statement, these figures declare their endorsement for the 10-point plan outlined by Maryam Rajavi, for freedom, equality and a democratic republic. This is the only program that champions the complete equality of women and men across all sectors in Iran.”

The keynote speaker, Maryam Rajavi, addressed the conference via a video message and said:

“Thank you for the declaration by 525 members of both Houses of the Parliament extending support to the people of Iran and the NCRI for the establishment of a democratic republic.

“The escalation of executions, mass arrests and intensified suppression indicate the regime’s weakness and fear of another uprising.

“Contrary to the false narrative spread by the regime advocates of appeasement policy, there is a viable and organised force within Iran, led by PMOI Resistance Units. They are capable of leading the struggle to overthrow the regime.

“The policy of appeasement must be set aside [as it] has prolonged the regime’s rule.”

The Rt Hon. Theresa Villiers MP said:

“I welcome this chance to join friends and colleagues today to once again call for the IRGC to be proscribed and also to once again call for freedom for Iran. I truly hope that one day soon we will see the establishment of the democratic secular republic based on the ten-point plan.”

Baroness Verma said:

“The ten-point plan is a democratic process that will enable people of Iran to live freely and have respect of their human rights.

“History will tell you over and over again, appeasement does not work. The General Assembly will be meeting again in September. And, I do hope that the message is loud and clear from all of us as parliamentarians across the globe that we do have to see change and it starts by action and not just gentle words.”

The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox recounted his visit to Ashraf 3 and meeting Iranian opposition members in Albania and said:

“I hear many people around the world, and you know who I refer to, claiming that they are the natural heirs to governance in Iran. That they have a right to take the place once the Mullahs fall. Nobody has the right to lead free Iranian people other than those freely chosen by free Iranian people themselves.

“And, as we go forward and tackle the evils of the malignant regime in Tehran … always remember that we are not there to hand Iran over to anyone else or to assist in that process but to give the people of Iran their birthright, which is the freedom that we already enjoy.”

Co-President of the the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran (ICPDI) Bob Blackman MP said:

“More uprisings will continue and, of course, the regime fears this. In towns and cities across Iran, the resistance is growing. That is why Tehran is now admitting to the important and decisive role that the NCRI is playing.

“[The regime is] dedicating more resources, diplomatic capital and terrorism throughout the world to limit the organised resistance movement and the members of and supporters both in Iran and beyond.”

Mr Toby Perkins MP recounted his visit to the Free Iran Summit 2023 and said:

“I was one of the many members of the UK Parliament who were able to go to that inspirational conference in Paris this year to express the cross party support for the NCRI for Madam Rajavi's 10-point plan.

“It was amazing to see so many parliamentarians from right across the world, all joining together, people on the left of politics, people in the right of politics, recognising that desire of the Iranian people to be free.

“A free Iran is the ultimate destiny for all the people of Iran. We know that it is in the interests of Iran, but we also know that it is in the interests of a more peaceful world, a more peaceful Middle East.”

Martyn Day MP said:

“I think we have to see ... regime change. I believe there is a lot more that our country should do. I do not think we can negotiate with them [Iran]. I think that is beyond any acceptable form. We need to act to support the people on the ground and I do hope that the resistance units continue their struggle and achieve success in short order.”

Baroness O'Loan DBE said:

“There are calls for the United Kingdom to take action to help end the crisis of systemic impunity in Iran and to support calls for the UN Human Rights Council to urgently establish an international investigative and accountability mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious crimes under international law, which are being committed in Iran today.

“We should as a country commit to exercise universal jurisdiction to criminally investigate and prosecute Iranian officials suspected of criminal responsibility for crimes under international law.”

Baroness Redfern said:

“I was at the Paris Conference in 2018, where we had a foiled bomb plot and the many hundreds of people that were there,  their voices were loud and clear and can I say, 2023, their voices are even louder and clearer for a free Iran.

“I had the pleasure of meeting with Maryam Rajavi and I applaud her commitment and courage for freedom in Iran and for freedom of speech.”

Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE said:

“Before the uprising of 2022, we had the uprising of 2019 and 2017. The Iranian people have never given up on the aspirations for a free democratic and secular Iran.

“We should urge, as has been mentioned, the sending of fact finding mission to visit political prisoners, including those currently on hunger strike in Gospel Hazar Prison and place appropriate sanctions on the individuals and organisations associated with the Iranian regime.”

Naghmeh Rajabi, representative of the Association of Iranian Professionals; and Azadeh Zabeti, President of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers also addressed the conference on behalf of the Anglo-Iranian community, supporting the NCRI.

British Committee for Iran Freedom

12 September 2023