On April 27, on the eve of U.S. President Joe Biden’s address to the joint session of Congress and amidst the Vienna-based nuclear talks with the Iranian government, several members of the U.S. House of Representatives presented a bipartisan resolution cosponsored by 225 Members of Congress, a House majority.
The U.S. lawmakers called on Biden to set his policy toward Iran based on ending its state-backed terrorism and egregious human rights violations. They also encouraged the President to support the Iranian people’s desire for a free, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.
“The House resolution is supported by bipartisan members of the House committees of Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Select Committee on Intelligence, among the sponsors. This timely resolution offers the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives on Iran policy in the first 100 days of the Biden Administration,” wrote the Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC).
“I am very pleased to announce today that over 220 members, Republicans and Democrats alike, have co-sponsored the resolution,” Rep. Tom McClintock, the bill’s lead sponsor, said to reporters.
“We are all familiar with Iran’s support for terrorism. Iran supports the Houthis, Hezbollah and Hamas,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the bill. “The regime has deprived ethnic and religious minorities of their basic human rights, solely because of their beliefs.”
“When it comes to democracy, human rights and freedom, and when it comes to countering the Iranian regime, bipartisanship is key,” stressed Soona Samsami, U.S. Representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi emphasized, “The resolution demonstrates the representatives’ support for the aspirations of the Iranian people and Resistance for which they have been fighting in the past 40 years.”
In House Resolution 118, the bipartisan lawmakers mentioned the Iranian government’s deadly suppression of nationwide protests in December 2017, November 2019, and January 2020. They severely condemned the execution of protesters, including wrestling champion Navid Afkari in September 2020, and the use of lethal force in November 2019, causing to the death of at least 1,500 protesters and the arrest of thousands of people. “Detained protesters were subjected to widespread torture including beatings, floggings, electric shocks, stress positions, mock executions, waterboarding, sexual violence, forced administration of chemical substances, and deprivation of medical care,” according to Amnesty International’s September 2, 2020, report.
Lawmakers recounted the Iranian people’s desires for regime change sand their chants against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during the protests.
They also called on the Biden administration to be involved in any establishment of an international investigation into the 1988 extrajudicial killings of Iranian dissidents. At the time, based on a fatwa by the Islamic Republic’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian authorities led at least 30,000 political prisoners to the gallows due to their political beliefs.
The lawmakers also declared their support for Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan for the future of Iran, which calls for the universal right to vote, free elections, and a market economy, and advocates gender, religious, and ethnic equality, a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence, and a nonnuclear Iran.
They also condemned the Iranian government’s terror attempts against the opposition, including a bomb plot orchestrated by an Iranian senior diplomat Assadollah Assadi against the 2018 Free Iran gathering in Paris and another bomb plot masterminded by Iran’s embassy in Tirana against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in March 2018.
The 225 representatives who have so far signed on to the resolution said the House of Representatives:
(1) condemns past and present Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks against United States citizens and officials, as well as Iranian dissidents, including the Iranian regime’s terror plot against the “Free Iran 2018–the Alternative” gathering in Paris;
(2) calls on relevant United States Government agencies to work with European allies, including those in the Balkans where Iran has expanded its presence, to hold Iran accountable for breaching diplomatic privileges, and to call on nations to prevent the malign activities of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic missions, with the goal of closing them down, including the Iranian Embassy in Albania;
(3) stands with the people of Iran who are continuing to hold legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive and corrupt regime; and
(4) recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.