On July 12, 2019, dignitaries from dozens of countries across the world attended an exhibition in Ashraf 3, Albania, which depicted 120 years of resistance for freedom and democracy in Iran. The exhibition was part of the five-day Free Iran 2019 event at the main headquarters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Following the exhibition, a conference was held, in which several of the visitors delivered speeches, issuing remarks about the struggles of the Iranian people and their resistance movement for freedom in their country.
Following are key remarks by British MP Matthew Offord at the Ashraf 3 conference.
Matthew Offord—Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom:
Salaam Ashraf. Salaam Madame [Maryam] Rajavi. Salaam honorable colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a great pleasure to be standing here in front of you today and to be able to speak with you and contribute to the important debate upon Iran. I would like to begin by giving my best wishes to you in Ashraf 3 on behalf of the cross-party British delegation here today. This is the second time that I’ve had the privilege to visit you and this time I hope to learn more about your stories, experiences, memories, and testimonies of the regime’s oppression through your new museum. The people here are the living embodiment, people who have documented the regime’s oppression for future Iranian generations. And you are the proof of the proud, brave nation that will never succumb to the regime’s brutality and vicious persecution through acts of terrorism.
For many years, many of my colleagues on a cross party basis in the British Parliament have reiterated the decision by the former U.S. administration and the EU to decouple the regime’s human rights violations and support for terrorism from the nuclear deal—it was a great mistake. And we will continue to do so. We argued that the regime was not to be trusted. And any of those who were deceived by the notion that there was a moderate faction within this theocracy were wrong. And we’ve been proved right. In the last few days we’ve seen events in the Strait of Hormuz, events and actions which have been described as contrary to international law.
But there are two issues that we will continue to raise repeatedly through our conferences and debates to Parliament. The first is that we need to hold the regime to account for the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran. Second, we want to see governments, including the United Kingdom government, proscribe the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] and all its forms in Iran as a terrorist organization. [applause] These two measures are very important because it will deny the regime the impunity as well as the funds it needs to continue its crackdown on the protests taking place in Iran across the past couple of years. And these protests have occurred because of the efforts of the resistance movement and you here today. However, more importantly, these two measures will signal to the Iranian people that they are not forgotten and that we in the free world are standing with them.
So, I take this opportunity to call upon my own government here today, and our allies in the EU, to abandon appeasement for a firm policy against Iran based on the following principles. We want to see the regime in Iran held accountable for the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran. We want to see the proscription of the IRGC and its other forms as a terrorist organization. And thirdly, we want to recognize the right to the Iranian people and the resistance movement led by Madame [Maryam] Rajavi to establish a free and democratic republic.
Today we have seen brave Iranian people who have risen up against the regime with slogans such as, “Down with the dictators.” We have seen thousands of Iranians in the diaspora in the UK and the U.S. rallying in support for their calls for genuine change and freedom. And we see a resistance movement led by Madame Rajavi grow popular support amongst Iranians that is not only dedicated but determined and has the leadership to see through the will of the Iranian people in their quest for freedom and democracy. As Rudy Giuliani said to us earlier, that message has not really pervaded through to many people in the West. So, I can assure him and others here today that myself and my colleagues on a cross-party basis in both Houses of the Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom will continue with your cause because the interest of the Iranian people aligns with those of the people of the United Kingdom. Iran’s current regime is a threat not only to the people of Iran but also to peace across the Middle East and the international community. The success of the Iranian people and your movement to bring about freedom in Iran will help the world. That is why we support you. And that is why we will continue to support you. And that’s why we will continue with our struggle until Iran is free. Thank you.