Lord Clark of Hampstead: At this moment, having witnessed the film, all of our thoughts must be with those poor unfortunate people that have had to suffer violence, humiliation, incarceration and death, at the hands of the mullahs. Our thoughts go out to them and their families and I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say we salute their bravery and wish them well in their continuing battle to get freedom for their people.
We're here today to express our support for those people and to rededicate ourselves to the task of widening the knowledge of what goes on inside that virtually closed society in Iran. For over 30 years, it's been my privilege to support the resistance movement, and over these past three decades, it's been a privilege to work with colleagues, some I see here today, and to meet up with old friends and to meet new ones. All with the same dedication, to try and bring about human rights and democracy to Iran.
We've tried over the years, through the NCRI, to highlight the atrocities of the regime and we've sought to hold those responsible accountable for the crimes and many crimes they have committed to you in this period.
The years of activity that so many have been involved in, is I believe now being reflected by the nationwide protests that we've just seen, that came from various parts of Iran. Millions of Iranians through their slogans are making it clear once again they want genuine change to a democratic and free Iran. I remember, you forgive an old man for remembering the past throughout these years together with my good colleagues in the House of Lords late and great Lord Corbett and so many others in this room and in other places in Europe, we have repeatedly reminded our government, the United Kingdom, that the theocratic regime in Iran does not represent the Iranian people and their will and aspirations.
We regularly highlight the appalling human rights situation in the country and we tell our government that the theocratic rule is holding their grip on power only through oppression and increase in executions. The game, we've just seen sample of it. But in our case, in the United Kingdom, each time the government come back, British silly excuses. We ask for a firm policy. In fact, we've had to fight through the courts in our own country and in Europe to get our voice heard and again we go to our government and we say “Will you please adopt a firm policy against the people in the regime in Iran”. We're constantly told “Can you believe this, that there are reforms in Iran that will moderate the regime's behavior?” Moderate? Rouhani, the man who is still culpable in my view of the 1998 massacre? And should be brought before the International Court. We also saw Rouhani in the past boasting and bragging of how he duped the people in the West, how he conned us to believe that there was a future for their nuclear program. Each year, we've seen the situation of human rights getting worse.
Regime’s disabling and destabilizing intervention in the region and heard of more advances in Iran's ballistic missile program. These major concerns have reached a level that the international community is now seeing, what we said three decades ago, 30 years, ago just what these people were up to; which is that the regime is not only a threat to the Iranian people but also a threat to the world peace and stability. And thus we must be even louder.
Today the popular slogans we've just seen on the Iranian streets are demanding the end of the entire theocratic dictatorial regime and reject any notion of reformers and making the case that the Iranian people want true democratic change which you Madame Rajavi have called for over so many years. You've called constantly for stability in the region and for democratic change. We're lucky in our Parliament that we don't divide on this issue on party grounds. We have colleagues from both houses of parliament to support you and your resistance movement. It's a cross-party basis, because you are a true democratic platform for a future Iran based on the 10-point democratic reform that you so eloquently said in so many places, in so many parts of Europe.
Just a few of those points: the abolition of the death penalty, the rule of law, an independent judiciary and gender equality. This modern and democratic platform for Iran's future will ensure that the Iranian people, their uprising that we've seen, actually will start to bear fruit as more and more of the world sees what's going on with these evil people running the country.
Madame Rajavi, your movement gives hope to the protesters, it gives hope to the people, not only of Europe but the world. You terrify through your movement, the supreme leader and the theocratic leaders who confess to the strength of your movement and acknowledge your role in organizing the nationwide protests. Now that's a bit of a change. For many years they would deny before we had social media and these telephones that take pictures, they would deny that anybody ever did anything in Iran. People like me, we’re called troublemakers, had no evidence that people in Iran have had enough of the regime. You mentioned the dangers of appeasement, the European and UK policy in appeasing regime is sadly placed on the wrong side of history and it must and will change because we no longer can ignore the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people. The violence on the streets is only committed by the desperate theocracy that hopes to quell the desire of millions of Iranians for a better future.
United Kingdom, the EU and for what it's worth, the United Nations, they haven't done very much over the years. All the years I've been at it, all they do is pass resolutions and do very little in a concrete form to bring these people to account. So we've got to speak now, we've got to speak louder and we've got to speak strongly for a change. That's why I urge my government and other EU member states to join us in recognizing that the NCRI, the PMOI and Madame Rajavi’s 10-point platform for a future Iran is a viable alternative to the current theocracy. We demand the release of those people that have been locked up just for protesting. In many of our countries, it’s a given fact that you can speak out. In Iran, speak out, get locked up, and sometimes get killed for your efforts. We demand the release of those arrested protesters and the political prisoners that have been arrested only because they opposed the supreme leader and a medieval system of absolute rule of the clergy.
The ongoing anti-regime protests show that with the situation, we're not going into the past. The Iranian people's demand for change were only intensifying. That means, like many dictators before it, the theocratic regime is doomed to be deposed by the people, and UK and EU must stand with the brave people of Iran and their legitimate opposition movement, the NCRI, but not with their oppressors
I will conclude, colleagues and friends, on a personal note. Madame Rajavi, over these many years, I have like many others, been inspired by your determined and honorable leadership. I thank you for the inspiration and as my late colleague and friend Lord Corbett always said at meeting such as this, Iran Will be Free. Thank you.