Thank you, Alejo, for your kind words. Good evening, everyone, it is especially an honour to share the table with Ms Rajavi, it is an honour and an experience I will never forget. The first thing I wanted to say is thank you for being here, for these days where you have visited us and where we have been able to meet some of you. Thank you for bringing us the voice of the persecuted in Iran, who in some cases are relatives and friends of yours; for us it is very important to have you here today, and feeling that closeness to the difficulties and the persecution suffered in Iran by the defenders of Human Rights.
This visit is an opportunity to express our firmest feelings of solidarity, and our fullest support, and also to offer you words of encouragement so you can take them to the Iranians from us and, above all, we offer you the support of the Spanish people, because at the end of the day we are the representatives of Spanish citizens and we wish you to take them our warmth and support for their fight. But I am firmly convinced that the people dedicated to politics, in addition to using words, which are our tool, are also obliged to transform words into facts, and today I am here, I have come here with my words but I have also come to tell you that in addition to these words we want to transform this into a firm and rotund action in the Spanish Parliament, and before the Spanish Government, to force the commitment insofar as necessary, the commitment of our government with the cause of democracy in Iran, the cause of freedom and the cause of equality of women.
I am going to tell you a secret: we are a very small party and a young party. Unión Progreso y Democracia is a party that is only five-years old… This is not a secret, it’s a well-known fact, b but our means and material and human means are scarce and this means that our focus of action on foreign policy is also very limited, we can scarcely cover three or four countries, and one of those countries is Iran. One is Iran and there is no question about it, because all the principles governing our foreign policy for Spain and international affairs are underscored by the idea of democracy, freedom and Human Rights, and those three words together inevitably lead us to Iran. So, within the small scope of our strengths and within the limitations of our means we certainly have the cause for democracy in Iran as a priority.
To end, I wanted to tell you a story that may illustrate our feelings more than anything else, our feelings towards your battle and cause. In the middle of the Spanish Civil War, in 1936, the former Minister of Health, Federica Montseny, travelled to France to visit the French Prime Minister, who was then Léon Blum and this was to ask for his support for the Spanish people, who were suffering in that Civil War. In her Memoires she narrates how she was really at the end of her tether after spending several hours waiting for the PM to see her, and when finally Léon Blum came out from one of the rooms of his palace and went over to her, he hugged her and with a very preoccupied air, stated “we share your pain, we share your pain” and embraced her, turned around and left again. When she narrated this in her Memoires she said she was shattered as she felt how the desperation of the Spanish people was – for Léon Blum – almost a reason to feel good about himselfjust by sharing that suffering. What I want to say is that we share your suffering, for real, and we do not give you this embrace and then turn our backs on you, we are still here and you can count on our support. Thank you.
Irene Lozano, Foreign Affairs spokesperson of Party of Progress and Democracy Union (UPyD) in Spanish Parliament
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