Time for a rethink on Iran Policy and PMOI – by Brian Binley MP

portrait-brianbinley-2.jpgLadies and gentlemen I don’t need to tell you we have won a great victory and we have been vindicated. I don’t need to tell you that the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom has been vindicated. You know that the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission has proven what we have known all along, that this Parliamentary Committee and the great support that it has throughout Parliament has been standing on the side of justice, while the government has been doing the absolute opposite. The British government has used the PMOI, Iran’s democratic opposition as a tool in its doomed policy of appeasement with the Iranian regime and this must now end.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the PMOI on this wonderful victory. However, this is not their victory alone. This is a victory for the entire Iranian population from young to old, rich and poor and especially for women. The first step in the road to freedom and democracy in Iran has most definitely been taken. The Iranian opposition after more than 6 years of being unjustly labelled terrorist has finally been released from this dark shadow and can now legally oppose one of the most brutal regime in the world.

The Court judgment could not have been clearer or in fact more forceful. The Secretary of State’s refusal to remove the PMOI from the list of terrorist organisations was adjudged to be, and I quote ‘perverse’ and that is a very harsh judgment indeed. The refusal by the government to follow the law is sadly something that is not new when it comes to the case of the PMOI. In December of last year the PMOI gained a great victory in the European Court of First Instance. On that day we rejoiced. However, one year on the PMOI remains on the EU list of terrorist organisations. This act has been termed by some in the media as ‘one of the most baffling riddles of contemporary politics’. Our government has gone out of its way to breach its own laws, in order to appease a regime involved not only in some of the worst acts of human rights breaches, but also involved in terrorism that is leading to the deaths of many British military personnel in both Iraq and Afghanistan. All British citizens are shamed by this action.

POAC’s judgment now leaves the terror listing of the PMOI in both the EU and the US without any credibility whatsoever. We therefore call on the British government to act in accordance with the POAC judgment immediately and lay an order before this Parliament removing the PMOI from the list of proscribed organisations. Secondly, we call on the EU and the US take heed of this judgment and see it as an opportunity to make good their own previous mistakes by removing the PMOI from their lists with immediate affect.

Let me now turn to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the recent US Intelligence report to have hit the headlines, I have but few words to say. It was in fact the PMOI who exposed the Iranian regime’s 18 year clandestine nuclear weapons program in 2002. However, even if we are to accept the findings of this report it proves conclusively that the regime in Iran responds to one thing and one thing only, firmness. The way forward in relation to all these matters is evident. I had the privilege of lunching with Mrs Rajavi on Monday last and she was in very good form. I pledged to support Mrs Rajavi and the 3rd option she and the NCRI advocate which calls for full and comprehensive sanctions against Iran while also supporting those Iranians working for a free Iran.

My final words go to my own political party, the Conservative Party. Throughout this proscription process you have stood behind the government, but now in light of this most strongly defined of judgment you must do what is right, do what is just, stand together with the Iranian people and work with them to achieve the democracy and freedom that they desire. I have therefore written to William Hague and David Davis on behalf of David Amess, Roger Gale and myself enclosing the judgment asking for a meeting wherein we will demand that the Conservative Party changes its position.

Can I conclude by once again congratulating my colleagues for their endeavours in achieving this unprecedented victory. To the people of Ashraf city and the people of Iran can I send this final message. We within the British Parliamentary Committee will continue our efforts and I know that together we will achieve democracy in Iran in the near future. I must leave now to attend my duties in the Chamber of the Mother of Parliament. I look forward to sharing time with you in a free, secular and democratic Tehran in the near future. May God be with us.

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