Egidijus vareikis, Member of Parliament from Lithuania:
Happy to be here to discuss how we can support the democratic aspiration of the Iranian people
I have to say that I’m really happy to be here to discuss how we can support the democratic aspiration of the Iranian people, who have taken to the streets to change the country for better.
It is very coincidental that I’m speaking after my German colleague, who also lived in a non-democratic society. I’m coming from Lithuania, a country which is now celebrating the one hundred anniversary of its independence, precisely next week, and from this one hundred years, we had fifty-fifty, we had 50 years of Soviet occupation, and 50 years of free society. And now, we are a free country, so we know the life is under oppression and how to go from that. And of course, I am a representative of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, which is an institution for human rights.
And human rights, here is a very important word. Human rights is not something that we can invent, modify and abolish, human rights is a part of human nature, so it’s a part of nature. We can write in the papers about better or worse human rights, but you cannot deny it. And in your country, unfortunately, they denial of the human rights, means that humans are not one hundred percent humans and not the citizens of the country.
And if you read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to resist a regime is also the human right. And it’s what the Iranian people do now, they are resisting the regime, it’s a human right to resist. Of course, you can resist in different ways. In my country, people made a singing revolution. In other countries, in Germany, people destroyed the wall. Unfortunately, I hear from the many politicians in Europe, is that we need to soften the regime. We need to somehow reconstruct the regime. We need to find a sort of Mikhaïl Gorbatchev for Iran, make the regime to have a human face. But the real situation is that we need to change the regime. Reform has not helped. And to change the regime we need to find the weakest point of the regime. And I think the weakest point is not the economy, not the military, because the weakest point is morality, and a lack of human rights is a lack of morality. So, in that situation, we really have to put our emphasis on human rights, because it’s the weakest point of the regime.
I want to quote the famous American political scientist Zbigniew Brzezniski who said “If you have a moral problem, it can neither be solved by economic means nor by military means, not even by intellectual means. The moral problems can be solved only by a moral instrument.” And human rights is a moral instrument. So, if we want to change the regime, we really need to have the emphasis on human rights. The second thing as I said last time in the conference in Albania, don’t think that you can kill a strong animal by another strong animal, you can kill a strong animal by a small virus that you can invent.
So human rights, can be that element which can destroy this immoral regime. So, I think, here, we not only have to discuss, but we have to invent how we can change that situation. Once again, at the end of my speech, I thank you for visiting the council of Europe, I think it was very useful because many people understood what they have to do to assist your country. We are living in a global society, so, we can say that, there are problems and we really have to assist you.