MEK Iran: Christian Wakeford AT Online Conference Marking International Women’s Day 2021
Transcript of remarks by Christian Wakeford at the online conference marking International Women’s Day 2021.
The brutal regime that has poor views on women in general
Thank you for inviting me to speak at today’s very important conference on International Women’s Day. I’d like to start by saying, there have been many times I’ve spoken about Iran in the House of Commons.
But to be clear, my negativity isn’t towards Iran or to the regime, it’s not to its people, because its people are, arguably, more at risk than any one of a very toxic atmosphere in the Middle East. I find myself in a very awkward position where I’m actually channeling my inner Alex Alland where Iran’s people haven’t failed.
Iran’s women haven’t failed
Its leadership has failed its people. Iran’s women haven’t failed, its leadership that’s failed its women. We are seeing a community of people that are ready to thrive and go out into a global world and be held back by, I can only describe as, a brutal regime that has poor views on women in general, but poor views on human rights across the world, and in particular, the West.
It’s very easy for me to stand here and as I sit here and speak to you as a straight white male, I’m very fortunate not to be in a position where I’m held back or I’m kind of viewed against, but I think the topic of today being resolution and resilience. Now sums of Iranian women to a tee because you’ve had no choice but to be resolute and resilient for decades in this regime.
Now you have strong supporters, in the UK Parliament, and across the globe
Now, as I said, you all are ready to fight, but you’re held back. You’re ready to go out and work, but you’re held back. You’re ready to remove but you are held back. Now you have strong supporters, not only in the UK Parliament, but across the west and across the globe, and especially in the Middle East.
But what you really need is support at home. So, if there is anything that we can do as parliamentarians, we will do so.
We will call out your regime where it is doing things wrong. And state-sponsored terrorism as this almost a mainstay is called out almost on a daily basis. But we need peace in Iran because, without peace in Iran, we have no peace in the Middle East. And at the moment, it is that region that is one of the most polarized in the world. So, we will continue to send strong messages of support to all those that are needed. You will not only have the support, but you will have the means to actually stand up and make your voices heard. Because for far too long, you haven’t been heard. It’s a very clear message. And that is if you are going out there in the world, speak to all contacts that you have. Let them know the fights of Iranian women and let them know what you want to see as a free, prosperous global Iran.
We see the IRGC, not only committing acts of atrocity on your home soil but across the Middle East and across the globe
In recent weeks, I’ve been speaking in Parliament about the dangers of the disease as being a destabilizing regime of their own, essentially, in the Middle East. They are essentially in a position where they are able to fight because they are sponsored by the regime. We see the IRGC, not only committing acts of atrocity on your home soil but across the Middle East and across the globe. And again, that is down to the regime.
So, we’ve seen sanctions applied and I think we heard earlier from Bob Blackman and other colleagues about the Magnitsky sanctions that have been applied. But we do need to go further, we do need to say that enough is enough.
We do need serious action, to support, a free Iran
And we do need serious action, whether that is through JCPOA or further means to actually say we’re not taking any more action because we do need support, a free people of Iran. So, you have my support in doing so, because I want to see Iranian women prosper in science, prosper in philosophy, prosper in every field you set your mind to because it should be the only thing that should hold you back is yourself, not a state, not its leadership.
So, you have our support in doing so and we will continue to invest until you are free and you can prosper.
So, the resolution is resilience. Unfortunately, you need to stay that way for hopefully just a bit longer, but we will continue to support you throughout that journey.