Can I wish you all a happy New Year. You know the situation in Ashraf – in fact many of you know it better than I. I know it is a totally unacceptable situation for a free people who were guaranteed the status they were guaranteed to be under oppression by a government which was set up directly as a result of the sacrifices made by many people from the military forces of the free world, but certainly many from this country. I simply find the whole situation totally unacceptable. I want that message to go to the Iraqi government. We fought to create a free and democratic Iraq. The actions they are undertaken with regards to Ashraf are certainly neither free nor democratic. It’s about time the Iraqi government grew up and started to accept the responsibilities of the deaths and maiming of many English servicemen expected of them when they created the opportunity for them to form a government. That is my personal concern about Ashraf.
But I am equally concerned that Iran is the No. 1 foreign-policy challenge that our world faces in 2011. The entire Middle East is in a state of extreme anxiety over the Iranian regime's policies. Indeed, I had the possibility to say so in the Washington Times which will be read by Mrs. Clinton and by President Obama. And I hope they took notice, quite frankly. Those countries in the Middle East who are concerned are not limited to the regime's determined efforts to acquire nuclear weapons but includes its brutal and systematic violation of human rights, its persistent support for extremist and Islamic fundamentalist groups and its determination to interfere in the affairs of other nations, but especially in Iraq and around Ashraf.
The Foreign Office here and the US government need to realise that their "dual track" policy toward Iran of diplomatic engagements and sanctions is not only incompatible with the situation, it is directly counterproductive. Attempts to engage with the regime have been both fruitless and completely divorced from reality. Engagement was advocated out of a mistaken view that the regime in Tehran is powerful and stable, and that the only plausible option was to cut a deal with the mullahs and ignore its opponents. Events have proved that view to be wrong.
Anti-government protests that began in 2009 have consistently highlighted the weakness of the case for appeasement. They repeatedly exposed a regime that is fragmented, devoid of a sound political base and fiercely opposed by a generation of young men and women who yearn for freedom and overwhelmingly support the demands of the organised resistance for internal regime change.
The time has come to adopt internal regime change as the West's policy in Iran. We must stand on the side of the Iranian people and their organised resistance to bring about democratic change.
The mullahs' proxies in Iraq are trying to silence the Iranian people by destroying Iran's main bastion of freedom, Camp Ashraf.
As you well know, PMOI members in Ashraf are designated "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Despite this they are under an abysmal siege and have repeatedly come under attack by Iranian and Iraqi agents. More than 170 people including at least 90 women were attacked with Molotov cocktails and stones only last week in blatant disregard for international law. The regime's intelligence ministry agents continue to chant threats and abuse round the clock from 180 loudspeakers around the edge of the perimeter of the camp, and this psychological torture has been non-stop since last February.
I demand that there should be an end to these appalling abuses, and I call upon the Foreign Secretary, of a government I support, to do two things as a matter of urgency:
Firstly, I demand that he demands of Iraq that they immediately remove the 180 loudspeakers used for torturing the residents of Camp Ashraf. I demand that they do that.
Secondly, I demand that Iraq effectively dissolves the Committee to Suppress Ashraf in the Prime Minister's Office and hands over Ashraf's dossier to the Iraqi Parliament instead.
Those are the demands that we require our government to act upon. And I hope that I will receive a quick response to those demands.
Ladies and gentlemen, As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian Resistance, put it, "The correct solution to the Iranian problem is regime change, a democratic change by the Iranian people and resistance. This is the defining factor in the Iranian equation. Thus, any policy that blocks the resistance ignores the most important factor for change in Iran and protects the regime."
That is what Maryam Rajavi says. I support that. I expect this government to support that view too. It is time for our government and others in the West to start backing those who support freedom and democracy in Iran both in the country and externally amongst members of the Resistance, most prominently the PMOI. I wish you well.