The organization of Iranian American Committees (OIAC) held a webinar on Wednesday, including 24 members of the US House of Representatives who have joined as co-sponsors of the H.S.118 bill (A bipartisan resolution co-signed by 113 members of the United States House of Representative). The contents of the bill confirm US political support for the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and denounces the Iranian regime for their human rights abuses and other malign activities.
California Representatives Tom McClintock and Brad Sherman introduced the resolution in question last month, and they also co-authored a letter to President Biden on 11 February announcing the resolution and requesting the administration to support its goals.
“With the introduction of this resolution, a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress encourages all efforts to recognize the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic of Iran while holding the ruling regime accountable for its destructive behavior.”
Since the end of 2017, the assessment of the Iranian people’s aspirations has been mainly based upon public expressions of anti-government sentiment in several nationwide uprisings and subsequent press conferences. Indeed, the resolution starts by stating that “protests erupted in more than 100 cities” at the time and lasted for several months, resulting in a sharp increase of repression by the Iranian authorities.
The worst of the repression occurred in November 2019, when the Iranian government was facing a national revolt that was much more widespread than the one that occurred in December 2017.
According to H. Res. 118, an estimated 1,500 Iranian activists were killed in less than two weeks after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other oppressive authorities opened fire on crowds across the country.
Despite the crackdowns, Iranian citizens are said to have continued openly chanting slogans associated with both uprisings, which evoke a common desire for regime change.
Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska spoke at the conference, describing Iran’s regime as a “threat to the entire world, not just its own citizens,” and citing as evidence a terror plot foiled in 2018, which targeted Iranian activists, expatriates, and political supporters in an event that took place near Paris.
All of the participants on Wednesday shared optimism for Iran’s democratic future. “You are not alone in your fight for freedom,” McClintock began his remarks to the Iranian activist community. He also urged the White House to “constructively engage with Madame Rajavi” in order to assist her supporters in Iran in understanding the “Jeffersonian platform” described in her 10-point plan for the country’s future.
The House of Representatives “stands with the people of Iran who are continuing to hold legitimate and peaceful protests” and “recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.” as H. Res. 118 clearly states.
In a written statement that followed Wednesday’s conference and summarized the US government’s perceived obligations, Congressman Michael Guest of Mississippi said almost the same thing: “We must continue to condemn the Iranian regime in the strongest of terms, including prolonging sanctions and other actions intended to deter the regime.”
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