Dictatorship Versus Democracy. The courageous role of women in promoting change in Iran. Speech Delivered To The Parliamentary Committee On Iran On November 24th 2022.
It is a great pleasure to be with Parliamentary colleagues and, by internet connection, with Madam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian Resistance movement.
It is an opportunity to declare my support for the brave people of Iran, the women who have taken the leadership of the ongoing uprising and their just resistance for change.
Today’s is Thanksgiving- and we give thanks for their heroism, bravery and courage.
I also give thanks for the brave captain of the Iranian Football team for raising his voice on behalf of change. Football is the “beautiful game”. His remarks were beautiful but brave as well.
Yesterday was Red Wednesday when we commemorate all those who suffer for their religion or belief. We give thanks for their bravery- not least for the Bahais who have suffered grievously at the hands of Iran’s theocratic dictatorship.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a day to remember the women around the world who are falling victim to violence and a day for call to action to end this violence.
The regime in Iran is not only a menace to the women in Iran. Its destabilising intervention in the region and export of terrorism and fundamentalism around the world present a serious threat to women around the world. We are seeing this threat today as the regime assists Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine with suicide drones that are used for the indiscriminate bombing of Ukranian cities prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian people including women and mothers.
Our strength is the rule of law and enforcing international law and international human rights law. If we do that, totalitarian tyrannies like the regime in Iran will certainly lose. The mullahs thrive only if there is no rule of law and under the culture of impunity.
Today’s historic special session on Iran at the UN Human Rights Council is a great step in this regard. I share the hope expressed by Tim Sylvester, one of the officials at our UN office in Geneva, in his remarks at the UN Third Committee adoption of a resolution on human rights in Iran last week that today’s special session “will mandate a robust investigation into protest-related human rights violations in Iran.” https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-iranian-people-have-suffered-enough-uk-statement-at-un
Let’s hope it does – although the presence of countries like Eritrea and China – with its record of persecution against groups like the Uyghur Muslims – on the UN Hunan Rights Council doesn’t fill me with hope. It’s like putting the foxes in charge of the chicken coop.
I remind Mr.Sylvester , the FCDO and the Government that Britain is in the best position to secure this investigation and subsequent prosecution given our respected voice globally and our seats at both the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council.
As Madam Rajavi stressed, the reality is that the elimination of state violence in Iran requires accountability and I support her call for a referral of the regime’s human rights dossier to the UN Security Council for justice and prosecution of regime’s leaders and officials responsible for decades of crimes against humanity. Our Government and the EU know exactly who these officials are because they just impose human rights sanctions against them.
Iran’s future is with the NCRI, with leaders like Madam Rajavi and Iran’s women and youths who are protesting on the streets, not the criminal regime that kills them to stay in power.
The future of the region lies with them too. I was recently in Bahrain whose very existence as an independent State continues to be threatened by the Mullah’s regime.
As the regime in Iran unites with Putin’s dictatorship to overcome the popular uprising, I urge the Our Government to stand with Madam Rajavi and the brave people of Iran so that their revolution is victorious, like we have promised and are doing in Ukraine.
In the Gulf I saw the dangerous nature of the unholy Trinity of Putin, Xi and the Mullahs: Russia, the PRC and Iran. They had just announced joint military exercises.
In facing the battle between Democracy and Dictatorship I want the Iranian resistance to succeed in their efforts to end the religious dictatorship in Iran for establishing a true, free, democratic and secular republic based on the democratic platform that Madam Rajavi has presented, which guarantees an Iran where leaders are elected by people in free and fair elections not selected by a Supreme Leader.
For more than 30 years I have shared platforms with the Resistance to express solidarity with the Iranian people. I will continue to do that until a free Iran is celebrated in Tehran.