Britain must stand with the Iranian people in their struggle for democracy and freedom, as it does for Ukraine, said a former Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, at a “Solidarity Iftar” organized by the Iranian Resistance Movement in London.
The Iftar – the daily breaking of the fast during Ramadan – was organized by the National Council of Resistance in Iran and was called “No to warmongering and Islamic extremism”.
dr Attending the event via video link, Morgan said, “The Iranian people have refused to back down and are challenging the regime at every opportunity, at great personal cost. I call on the UK and our government to stand with you and recognize your struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran, as we do in Ukraine.
“I also urge the UK Government to impose human rights sanctions on senior leaders of the regime for its crimes against humanity and the torture of political prisoners, dissidents and protesters.
“Iran’s future rests in the hands of the Iranian people and those committed to inclusivity and peaceful coexistence. That is why I stand behind the Iranian Resistance and its President-elect, Madam Rajavi.”
Maryam Rajavi is Chair of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. She said, “The Word of God is not compulsion. It is a message that you need to hear, reason and consult. Islam is the religion of freedom of speech. It does not prohibit and even encourages opposition to the rulers. Anything that would be against human freedom is not credible from an Islamic point of view.”
Rev. Christina Rees, school chaplain and assistant vicar in the Diocese of Norwich and former member of the Archbishops’ Council, was among the speakers at iftar online. She criticized the British government’s policy towards Iran. “The war in Ukraine is a reminder that you cannot appease dictators and reward their unacceptable behavior,” she said. “The people of Ukraine have proved that they are our best allies in the fight against dictatorship.
“Britain is mired in the appeasement policy of the past decades in relation to Iran. The Iranian Resistance deserves our support because they are at the forefront of the fight against Islamic fundamentalism. Their ten-point platform offers a roadmap to a free, secular, and democratic Iran. This is the roadmap that the UK and the world should support.”
The number of executions in Iran has risen sharply since hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected president last year. At least 333 people were executed last year.
In March, Iranian-British dual nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were released by Iran after years in captivity after denying allegations of espionage (News, March 18).