MP Campbell challenges attempt to rationalise Iranian persecution of Christians

Gregory Campbell, East Londonderry MP
Gregory Campbell, East Londonderry MP

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has sharply criticised comments made by Conservative MP Richard Bacon relating to the persecution of Christians in Iran.

During a Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday the MP for South Norfolk described how he had encouraged Iranians to lobby members of the United States Congress to visit the country and “see what a normal Country Iran actually is.”

When challenged by the DUP MP about Iran’s record of persecution against Christians Mr Bacon attempted a “bizarre form” of rationalising Iranian terror.

Gregory Campbell said, ‘This was a rather disturbing dismissal of Iran’s human rights record and the well documented persecution of Christians and other religious minorities within Iran. To glibly describe Iran as a “normal country” ignores child executions, the imprisonment of journalists, torture of prisoners and restrictions on freedom of religion.

“Mr Bacon’s assertion that “what constitutes normal is actually a very wide spectrum” skirts very close to the kind of moral relativism employed by the Iranian authorities themselves. When they tell us that they shouldn’t be bound by the West’s interpretation of human rights it should be challenged rather than supported.

“Richard Bacon’s views are disturbing and unacceptable, but thankfully they are not the majority view within Parliament. The All Party Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief has produced a report specifically on the persecution of Christians in Iran. That cross-party group of MPs who come from different faiths and none have very clearly recognised that Iran is not a normal country. I support that view and will continue to challenge those who would dismiss or try to ‘normalise’ the persecution of Christians and other human rights abuses that go on in that country.’