The Human Rights Situation in Iran

Mr President, Honourable members of the Senate, Ladies & Gentlemen, 

Thank you very much for inviting me to this important conference in the Italian Senate organised by the Italian Committee for a Free Iran. As you know I was co-chair of Friends of a Free Iran intergroup in the European Parliament for over 10 years which campaigned successfully for the PMOI to be de-listed off the terrorist black lists in the EU and to fight for the rights of their members in Camp Ashraf and now Camp Liberty. 

Iran is a deeply corrupt country. Its fascist leadership thrives on oppression. Its main export is terror. A prime example of this dealership in death and destruction was the obscene rocket attack on the unarmed civilian refugees in Camp Liberty near Baghdad Airport on Thursday 29thOctober. More than 80 rockets rained down on the sleeping refugees, killing 24 and horribly injuring many others. There was widespread destruction. The rockets were fired from a carefully planned position well within the tight security zone that surrounds the camp and the airport. 

We had complained for weeks that the Iraqi authorities were colluding with agents of the Iranian regime to photograph and carry out reconnaissance of the camp in preparation for this massacre, aimed at liquidating the 2,200 members of the PMOI Iranian Resistance who have been trapped in this death camp for the past three years. Our warnings were ignored. The 29thOctober attack was the sixth attack and massacre on the residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, which has so far led to 140 deaths and hundreds of injured. 

On this occasion even John Kerry was prompted to issue a press statement condemning the attack, despite the fact that John Kerry has failed to offer sanctuary to a single person from Camp liberty, leaving them to be slaughtered in attack after attack. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs fell into the same trap, bewailing the fate of Iraqi guards who she claimed had also been killed in the attack. In fact not a single Iraqi was hurt. 

And since the attack and all the many expressions of concern from political leaders around the world, the Iraqi government has not only continued to suppress the refugees in Camp Liberty, they have actually tightened the screw, by denying access to food trucks, septic tanks, fuel tankers and trucks carrying essential materials needed to repair the hundreds of damaged huts and trailers. 

The 2,200 residents who survived the massacre are now being subjected to even worse abuse, mistreatment and humiliation than before and yet the UN, US and EU hear nothing, say nothing and do nothing, like the THREE WISE MONKEYS. It is an unfolding tragedy and to allow it to happen under our noses, in full sight and with a clear understanding of the inevitable outcome, renders each and every one of us an accessory to murder. It brings infamy and ignominy to Europe, America and the United Nations. That they choose to stand aside and watch the brutal murder of innocent refugees is something that I never believed in my lifetime I would witness. I am dumbfounded.

I issued a press release last week in which I said: “The US must provide air cover for Camp Liberty to prevent further attacks. The protective concrete T-Walls and the residents’ protective helmets and vests must be returned forthwith. Faleh al-Fayad and his men who run the daily management of Camp Liberty must be immediately replaced by those not affiliated with or beholden to the Iranian regime and its cohorts.”

Of course anyone, like the PMOI, who speaks out against the Iranian regime faces arrest, torture and death. And political opponents are not the only victims of the fascist mullahs. Iran has many ethnic and religious minorities. Until the arrival of Khomenei in 1979, these communities had been living peacefully and fraternally together in Iran for centuries. There are representatives of these ethnic and religious minorities in the opposition NCRI, fighting together for a free Iran. But these minorities are victims of constant persecution. They face arbitrary detention, torture, unfair trials and extrajudicial executions, as well as the destruction of their cemeteries and holy places. 

Women are treated as an inferior species and regularly abused and repressed by the misogynist mullahs. Many young women have been blinded and disfigured in acid attacks condoned by the State simply for the offence of not wearing their veil properly. Unfortunately the West and particularly the EU have closed their eyes to these crimes.

It seems remarkable that throughout all of the nuclear negotiations in Switzerland, no mention was made of Iran’s appalling human rights record, where it now executes more people than any other country in the world apart from China. More than 2,000 people have been hanged under the so-called ‘moderate’ leadership of President Rouhani.

It seems all that he has to do is smile and the West is fooled. But while he smiles, waves of mass judicial killings are ruthlessly carried out, designed to create an atmosphere of fear in a population increasingly dismayed at rising food and fuel costs, while their fundamentalist rulers pour billions into brutal foreign wars. There have been repeated bread riots and mass demonstrations by schoolteachers and others, which have caused panic amongst the ruling mullahs, leading to further savage crackdowns. 

But none of this seems to attract any criticism from the West.

This is a windfall for a regime whose biggest export is terror; a regime which funds Hizbollah in Lebanon, Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the brutal Shi’ite militias in Iraq. It is a windfall for the mullahs’ nuclear programme, which far from being suspended, will now be accelerated and it is a windfall for Iran’s expanding ballistic missile programme, which has intercontinental missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and striking targets in Israel, Saudi Arabia or even Europe. But Obama’s footnote in the history books may not make for comfortable reading.

The impact of sanctions on Iran, coupled with the recent collapse in oil revenues, has crippled the theocratic regime. Welfare handouts are being savagely cut, food prices continue to rise; the black market is burgeoning. While the top leaders live a life of luxury, anger is building amongst the poor. Increased repression, mass arrests, public hangings and floggings have been the regime’s response, because what they fear more than anything is popular fury spilling over into a new revolution, sweeping the fascist ayatollahs and their henchmen from power.

Indeed the expanding programme of support for Bashar al-Assad’s bloody civil war, backed by Iran, Iraq and Russia, lies at the root of the refugee crisis that is engulfing the EU.   

Whoever takes up the challenge of countering Iran should be certain of one thing; there is a credible Opposition movement waiting in the wings to take over power from the evil mullahs. The PMOI and their inspirational leader Mrs Maryam Rajavi are ready to restore democracy, justice, human rights and women’s rights in Iran. They will ban nuclear weapons, end the death penalty and separate church and state. Theirs is a vision of freedom and liberty for the oppressed millions in Iran. It is a vision that they have fought and died for. 

I have written a book on the Iranian Mojahedin's, some copies of which I have brought here with me today.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

I firmly believe that the evil Iranian regime will fall and all its military and terrorist actions in the region are signs of weakness. The massive rocket attack against Camp Liberty showed the world where the most feared enemy of the mullahs are. My advice to American and European leaders is not to invest in this dying theocracy. Appeasement and sacrificing humanitarian and European values will not get us anywhere. 

We must remember the words of Winston Churchill who famously said of appeasement: "There is no greater mistake than to suppose that platitudes, smooth words, and timid policies offer a path to safety."