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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

The Iranian people will no longer tolerate violence and oppression

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council Arria meeting on protests in Iran

2 November 2022

Thank you Chair. On behalf of the United Kingdom let me pay tribute to the powerful briefing we have heard today from our three briefers.

The death of Mahsa "Jina" Amini was a tragedy. She was not the first young woman to die needlessly at the hands of the Iranian regime. Nor, sadly, will she be the last. But her death and the bravery of so many ordinary Iranians since then have changed Iran.

What we have seen in the six weeks since Mahsa's death has been extraordinary. Years of grief, fear and frustration at the hands of an oppressive regime have spilled into the streets.

This is an authentic, grassroots call for change.

People in Iran have had their rights and voices ignored for too long.

We stand in solidarity and awe at their extraordinary bravery standing up to the authorities.

Their message is clear: the Iranian people will no longer tolerate violence and oppression.

The situation is entirely of the Iranian regime's own making. Its human rights record has been dire for years.

Iran's brutal crackdown on protests has appalled the world. We have seen with our own eyes the footage of police violently beating protestors. We've seen numerous reports of authorities using live ammunition on crowds.

The Iranian regime's narrative around these incidents - that external actors are to blame for the unrest - is a flagrant attempt to distract the world.

But the regime knows the truth.

Its attempts to stifle the voices of its people by restricting internet access, blocking apps and jamming satellite broadcasts shows us that the regime is frightened of what ordinary Iranians think.

A confident government does not cut off its people from basic services, accurate reporting and the vital ability to connect with one another.

The Iranian regime has tried to blame everybody but themselves for what's going on. It's time they take responsibility and listen to their people.

The people of Iran have been clear that the regime cannot continue as it has. It must now demonstrate real change.

As my Foreign Secretary said on the 17th October, there is a place in the international community for a responsible Iran, one that respects the rights and freedoms of its citizens.

For the sake of Iran's peace and security - and its future standing in the world - it is time for the regime to make the right move.

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