Sunday, 10 January 2010

Cross-Party MPs call for a suspension of UK ties with Iran regime

Cross-Party MPs and Peers joined large numbers of supporters of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) on Thursday at a rally opposite Downing Street in solidarity with nationwide anti-government protests in Iran and urged the UK government to sever ties with the mullahs' regime.

Participants included Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, Chair of the British Committee for Iran Freedom; Mr Brian Binley, Conservative MP; Lord Cotter, Liberal Democrat spokesman in the House of Lords; Mr David Amess, Conservative MP; Mr Roger Gale MP, former Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party; Lord Maginnis of Drumglass; and Mr Joe Benton, Labour MP.

Labour peer Lord Corbett of Castle Vale told the protestors: "We have witnessed in Iran an historic outcry for change. Today there is a rising demand by millions for democracy and an end to the religious dictatorship in its entirety".

Lord Corbett urged the Foreign Office to abandon dialogue with the mullahs. "The only language that the regime understands is one of firmness."

Roger Gale MP said Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum supported the PMOI's efforts to promote democracy in Iran.

Lord Maginnis vowed to raise the issue of the regime's human rights violations in Parliament, describing the UK government's lack of action as "unacceptable".

The mullahs' interior minister warned opposition activists on Tuesday they risk execution as enemies of God if they continue anti-government demonstrations. "After Ashura, anyone who takes part in riots will be considered as 'mohareb' (waging war on God) and an opponent of national security," Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said (official IRNA news agency).

Addressing the government, Brian Binley MP said: "Continuing to take a blinkered view of the negative role played by Tehran in the vain hope that appeasement will bring about change is not only naive, but extremely dangerous".

"If the British government seriously wishes to find a solution to the Iran problem, they need look no further than the streets of Tehran and the Iranian people's determination to purse democratic ambitions", he said.

Joe Benton MP said: "The UK government must adopt a firm policy towards Tehran over its support for terrorism as well as its brutal crackdown on the Iranian people. Such a policy must include targeted sanctions as well the cutting off of all economic ties with the regime. However, this must be coupled with support for the Iranian people's democratic opposition movement"

David Amess MP said: "This option of democratic change by the Iranian people has long been advocated by the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its president-elect Mrs Maryam Rajavi. The people of Iran have now put this option well and truly on the map for dealing with the threat posed by the current Iranian regime".

Lord Cotter said: "For 30 years the regime has ruled with an iron fist. Suppression and torture have been the order of the day of this regime, not least in recent protests. But millions of brave Iranians are refusing to back down in their demand for freedom. For the first time we can see that the regime's 30-year brutal rule is coming to an end".

The Iranian Resistance supporters in London urged the UK to impose comprehensive sanctions on the regime and expel its embassy staff as well as to announce its support for democratic change by the Iranian people and Resistance.

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