As President Trump is making key decisions about sanctioning Tehran over the 2015 nuclear deal, the US House of Representatives voted 415-2 to support anti-government protesters in Iran in a show of overwhelming bipartisan consensus.
A resolution condemning the regime’s web censorship and the response by the Revolutionary Guards was also backed by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce.
“We all face a clear choice: stand with the protesters – who demand the basic rights and opportunities enjoyed in free societies – or stand with their oppressors – who steal the wealth of a great nation to enrich themselves and to fund violence abroad,” said Royce, who added, “These brave men and women are standing up against the Revolutionary Guards’ violent intervention in Syria and Lebanon. We must join them in demanding an end to the single greatest source of instability in the Middle East.”
Royce also weighed in on a congressional law to target those responsible for human rights violations during the crackdown, and another one to “push the corrupt Revolutionary Guards out of the Iranian economy.”
As well, House Speaker Paul Ryan used Twitter to speak “in support of the Iranian people’s right to protest their brutal regime.”
At the House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on January 10th that he chaired, Royce said, “With the leadership of this committee, Congress has used sanctions to marshal America’s economic might against threats to our national security. Last August, we enacted tough new sanctions on three regimes – North Korea, Russia and Iran – that continue to undermine global stability. The House has also passed sanctions to crack down on Hezbollah’s use of drug trafficking and other criminal activities to fund its terror. With this hearing, the committee will review the implementation and enforcement of these efforts by agencies including the Departments of Treasury, State, Commerce, and Justice.”
On nearly a daily basis, Trump tweeted his support of Iranian protesters during the peak of the rallies.
Deadlines related to the Iran nuclear deal begin late this week. According to State Department spokesman Steve Goldstein, Trump must make decisions regarding whether to re-impose oil sanctions lifted under the 2015 deal. Goldstein also told journalists that ahead of these decisions, Trump is expected to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the White House later in the week.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed that foreign attempts to turn legitimate protests into an insurgency had failed.
The regime appears to be confident that it has quashed unrest that spread to more than 80 cities. “The enemy now repeatedly makes moves and they are defeated each time,” Khamenei said, according to state media. “It’s because of the resistance, because of the strong populist and national dam.”