A FORMER Ceredigion MP has spoken about reports that he has been sanctioned by the Iranian regime.

Mark Williams, who represented the region in Westminster between 2005 and 2017, and was leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats between 2016-17, was one of 32 individuals and entities sanctioned by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is believed to be due to his support for human rights and democracy in Iran, something which the Iranian regime claims is “promoting terrorism and violence”.

The sanctions include denial of visa, prohibition of entry into Iran, and the confiscation of their property and assets on the Iranian territory.

Mr Williams was a strong opponent of the regime in Iran during his time as an MP, criticising its human rights record and funding of terrorism, and he has continued to be involved in the Free Iran movement since.

In recent months Iran has been gripped by protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab "properly".

The protests have since grown and have been called the "biggest challenge" to the government of Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

As of 29 November 2022 at least 448 people, including 60 minors, had been killed as a result of the government's intervention in the protests and an estimated 18,210 have been arrested.


Mr Williams said: “I have always been steadfast in my support for a free and democratic Iran. As protests continue to sweep the country calling for change, it is vital that we all show our support now more than ever.

“Just this week we have seen many of the brave protestors sentenced to execution.

“The campaign for justice in Iran will go on regardless of any sanctions by the Iranian regime.

"Human rights and democracy are non-negotiable and I will continue to campaign for the noble and just cause of the Iranian people with colleagues from all corners of the political landscape."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said: “Given Mark’s unwavering support for freedom, democracy and human rights in Iran over many years it is perhaps little surprise the regime has decided to sanction him.

"Such a move only goes to demonstrate how far the regime will go to stifle dissent and opposition both at home and abroad.

“Having met with Iranian diaspora in Wales on multiple occasions in recent months regarding recent protests in Iran I am all to aware of the impact this latest outburst of violence by the regime is having.

“I know that Mark, myself and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue in our support of freedom and democracy despite any sanctions thrown our way.”