‘Progressives must stand with the oppressed women of Iran,’ says Labour’s Wayne David

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‘Progressives must stand with the oppressed women of Iran,’ says Labour’s Wayne David

Shadow Middle East minster tells JLM conference: 'The sheer horror of the country is something supporters of human rights and human decency should have no truck with'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Adrian Cohen and Labour's Wayne David at JLM conference
Adrian Cohen and Labour's Wayne David at JLM conference

Labour’s shadow middle east minister Wayne David has called for “progressives, let alone socialists and social democrats” to “do our utmost and stand with the oppressed people, especially women in Iran”.

Speaking at the Jewish Labour Movement’s annual conference Wayne David highlighted the example of the Iranian woman “subjected to 74 back slashes in public for refusing to wear the hijab.”

In a compelling Q&A session with the London Jewish Forum’s co-founder and Labour Friends of Israel lay chair Adrian Cohen, David said the tortured woman’s horrendous treatment was “indicative of so much which is going on – repression, the abuse, the intimidation.

“The sheer horror of the country is something which we as supporters of human rights and human decency should have no truck with.”

David told the even at JW3 that Labour had been steadfast under Keir Starmer’s leadership that one of the “main instruments of internal repression” was Iran’s IRGC.

“I’ve been saying for quite some time as indeed has the Labour Party that the IRGC should be a proscribed organisation in this country,” added David.

“There are different views inside government about it, but their position is unchanged. They have not moved despite suggestions they might go in that direction. Nothing has actually happened in the material sense.”

The Labour front bencher added it was “important to recognise just what the IRGC is.” He noted MI5 was spending considerable time “thwarting neo-terrorist activity and actual intimidation of individuals.”

David himself had been placed on a list alongside other MPs by the organisations, after he criticised their activities. He also noted the “appalling action” taken by IRGC agents against the BBC World Service.  Labour would offer more support to “so called soft power” and recognises the vital role the BBC World Service does.

David also explained why Starmer had given his backing to last week’s attacks on the Houthis in Yemen conducted by the US and UK.

“I understand from what Keir Starmwer has been told by the prime minister is that these objectives are limited and therefore Labour will support the government,” he said.

He also spoke in detail about the importance of the Abraham Accords in forging closer links between Israel and the Arab states prior to October 7th.

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