The Henry Jackson Society hosted an event in Parliament earlier this week, courtesy of Lord Stuart Polak with guest speaker Amir Fakhravar, the head of the National Iranian Congress to discuss Iran’s political future.
Of the many conversations I have hosted since September, this particular event clearly signalled a stark change in narrative – and though it is evident Iranians have quite a long way to go before they can claim their freedom, to see the Opposition speak so confidently of the need to plan Iran’s constitutional future so that all Iranians can enjoy the very freedom we take for granted was inspiring.
Although Iran still finds itself in the throes of a violent crackdown, plagued by the brutality of a regime which quite simply refuses to grasp that it has lost all its credibility and thus legitimacy, victory seems within reach. I say this with utmost caution as the toppling of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, will not necessarily usher democratic change. Many hurdles will have to be overcome – none the least the possibility of a coup by forces close to the current regime: the controlled Opposition, or those parties, which, over the years, have falsely claimed to represent the popular will whilst hosting at their conferences high ranking foreign officials.
Ultimately the Iranians ought to have the final say – all we can do and ought to do is to accompany them on this journey.
Speaking in Parliament, Amir Fakhravar warned of the risks that would accompany a constitutional vacuum, calling on all opposition parties to unite together so that order could be maintained and the people’s wishes respected – mainly for their rights to be enshrined and protected within a truly democratic system.
Fakhravar also called on the international community to honour its commitments to the rule of law, encouraging state officials to do more than they have been doing as despicable crimes are being committed in the streets of Iran against civilians.
He noted, “Iran’s regime should be expelled from the United Nations. Any member that persistently violates the UN Charter can be expelled. That certainly sounds like Khamenei’s regime.”
And “IRGC should be on terror list in the UK… the Iranian People are ready for change, regime change. This revolution is going to make Iran free.”