15.00-19.00 hrs Friday 1st March 2024


Can I say what a great pleasure it is to welcome my close friend Alejo Vidal Quadras among us here today. Alejo, your life is a victory for the Resistance and a defeat for the mullahs.

John F Kennedy famously said: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”. His words should resonate in Tehran today. For forty-five years the Iranian regime has sponsored violent abduction, hostage taking, kidnapping, blackmail, piracy, assassination, warmongering and oppression. As a gangster regime, the theocratic dictatorship has no equal. They have ploughed men and resources into proxy wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Gaza. They have openly backed terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas and through the extra-territorial Quds Force wing of their Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), they have directed extremist operations throughout the Middle East and further afield, even sending registered diplomats on terror missions. Now they are supplying kamikaze drones to Russia for use in their illegal war in Ukraine. 

The theocratic regime has excelled in the past four decades in barbaric acts such as amputation of hands and feet, gouging eyes, stoning people to death, throwing prisoners off cliffs, and other brutal punishments. The cruelty and inhumanity of Iran’s judicial system goes well beyond executions, however. Individuals may be arrested and indefinitely detained without charge or on trumped-up offenses; subject to degrading treatment, including torture, in order to extract confessions; denied rights such as access to legal counsel and a fair trial. Those accused or convicted are incarcerated in dirty, overcrowded prisons where they may be subject to torture, rape, and other atrocities. Iran executes the majority of convicts sentenced to death by hanging within these prisons. The regime, however, also regularly carries out executions in public, where the victim is publicly hanged from a construction crane, an especially slow and painful execution method. This is what passes for human rights inside the theocratic regime.

The great surprise is that many countries in the West continue to negotiate with this criminal regime, treating it as a bona fide nation state. 

They ignore the Iranian regime’s role in planning, financing, training, and arming the Hamas extremists from Gaza who attacked Israel on 7th October. They ignore the fact that the IRGC is behind the Yemen-based Houthi drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the attacks by Tehran's proxies on American military bases in the region. 

It uses Gangsters and cartel Godfathers to launder drug money, helping the mullahs to overcome the impact of western sanctions and providing the regime with the means to finance and supply its terrorist proxies. With a collapsing economy and widespread poverty, repeated nationwide uprisings in Iran were marked by protesters demanding the overthrow of the regime with cries of: "Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Sheikh," indicating that they want democracy, not autocratic tyranny. Their opposition has manifested itself in the shape of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main component part the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), led by the extraordinary Mrs Maryam Rajavi.

The mullahs now fear and loathe the MEK whom they see as the only viable and organized entity with the ability to topple their regime and restore peace, justice, freedom, and democracy to the beleaguered Iranian people. Not content with having killed over 100,000 members and supporters of the MEK inside Iran, they have organized assassinations and bomb, arson, and cyberwarfare attacks on NCRI rallies and offices abroad.

Now, in a last desperate bid, they have launched a bogus trial in absentia of 104 exiled MEK members, in Tehran, to lay the groundwork for more terrorism and in the hope that their sham convictions will convince Western democracies to place restrictions on the principal opposition movement to the ruling theocracy. Clearly their aim is to sentence them all to death in order that this bogus extravaganza may somehow justify their subsequent murder. Indeed, it is because of the success of the MEK in building formidable international and domestic support, that the mullahs are now trembling in fear. 

In a bid to quell another revolution that could sweep his regime from power, the ageing and psychotic Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei engineered the sham election of Ebrahim Raisi as president. Raisi is known as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ for his role as a key executioner in the Death Commissions that massacred more than 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, in a crime against humanity. Raisi has lived up to his nickname. 

Over 1,780 people have been executed since he took office. 864 were hanged last year alone, many of them dissidents arrested during the 2022 uprising. 

The Iranian people have had enough. Their fury has been channelled through the massive expansion of the Resistance Units of the MEK, which have burgeoned in every town and city in the country. The international community must recognize the right of the Iranian people and their Resistance Units, to use all means at their disposal to resist the ruthless machinery of suppression and to overthrow the mullahs. 

It must surely now have dawned on even the most ardent appeasers in the West that engaging with the Iranian regime is no longer viable. The path of appeasement has only emboldened Iran and allowed it to wreak havoc both regionally and globally. This must equally apply to Albania, where, under pressure from the mullahs, with their threats of cyber-attacks and violence, an unwarranted and unprovoked raid was carried on Ashraf 3, leading to the death of one Ashrafi who was pepper-sprayed in the face. Confiscated computers and communications equipment has still not been returned and internet access has been disabled. Albanian police remain on duty at the entrance to Ashraf 3. 

The rights of these refugees as stipulated in the I951 Geneva Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights must be respected. Western nations, especially the US, must support the Albanian Government and encourage it to stand up to pressure from the Iranian regime. 

As the clerical regime enters its final phase, it is high time for the world to take concrete measures to hold it accountable for its egregious human rights violations and crimes against humanity. An Important step is to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group and shut down the regime's embassies In Europe, because they are hub for planning terrorist acts against dissidents.  By doing so, we can pave the way for a more stable and democratic Iran, eradicating the threat to regional security once and for all and making the world a safer place.