News : Sanctions
- Published: Thursday, 13 December 2018 23:50
By INU Staff
INU- An American lawmaker, who sponsored a bill to support a democratic, secular Iran, said that the US should provide material support to help the Iranian people topple the Regime.
At a Christmas celebration held by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) on Tuesday, Tom McClintock, a Republican member of the House, told VOA Persian: “I believe it is increasingly important that we provide (Iranians) with material support that they need to overcome the tyranny in Tehran. In previous years, we provided cash on cargo pallets to the mullahs, cash used to oppress the Iranian people. Now we owe it to the Iranian people to provide the resistance with the kind of material support that we once gave the mullahs.”
The cash payments McClintock referred to were the January 2016 air cargo delivery of $400 million to Iran to settle an arbitration claim from 1979, shortly after the signing of the nuclear deal and on the same day that Iran agreed to release four American prisoners. Many see this as a ransom payment.
McClintock has sponsored a House resolution to support the Iranian people’s “desire for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Republic of Iran” and condemn Iranian state-sponsored terrorism. In July, it was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has since gained 103 co-sponsors.
The non-profit OIAC, which supports McClintock’s bill, seeks to mobilize Iranian-Americans to support the Iranian people’s “struggle for democratic change” and a “non-nuclear government”. It is allied with the exiled Iranian dissident movement Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), which leads the France-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and fights for the overthrow of Iran’s “religious dictatorship”.
The OIAC event featured speeches from nine members of the House, including Republicans McClintock, Dana Rohrabacher, Mike Coffman and Ted Poe, and Democrats Eliot Engel, Brad Sherman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Judy Chu and Steve Cohen.
Engel, the presumptive chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the next congressional session, said: “I want the people of Iran to know that the people of the U.S. are aware of what is happening in their country and that we stand with the people of Iran, not with the oppressive regime, not with the mullahs in Tehran. We don’t attempt to tell the people of Iran what kind of government they should elect. They should just have the freedom to be able to do that … the same kind of freedom that American people have.”
The OIAC event marked the anniversary of the mass protests in Iran that began in late December 2017.