Congresswoman Judy Chu
Hello. I’m Congress member Judy Chu and I’m so happy to be joining with the California Society for Democracy in Iran for your nationwide virtual conference. I’m so sorry the coronavirus pandemic has kept us from joining together in person this year.
But that is why I’m so glad that you found a way to still come together safely because we need to let Iran know the world is watching. Through your advocacy, you are leading the fight to advance human rights in Iran and I’m proud to stand with you. We know that Iran is better than its government. We saw that in 2019 as popular protests against Iran’s cruel government spread throughout the country. At least 100 cities became home to protests by proud Iranians who rejected the violence of the mullahs. But tragically, violence is all the mullahs know.
According to Amnesty International, many of the protesters who were detained by the government were tortured, beaten, waterboarded, shocked and more. This is the same for anyone who dares to speak out against Iran’s cruel leaders, even those abroad. Iran’s support for terrorism has extended far and wide, including to South Africa, where there was a plot to assassinate America’s ambassador there as well as Belgium, where just this month an Iranian diplomat was sentenced to prison for planning a bomb attack at the 2018 Free Iran gathering.
If we are to put an end to Iran’s history of exporting terror and threatening the lives of its own citizens, Americans and others, then the Iranian regime must know that we will stand up to their violence and oppression. That is why I supported extending the U.N. arms embargo on Iran and it is why I am a proud cosponsor of House Resolution 118. This critical resolution condemns Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks and expresses support for the people of Iran who are engaged in legitimate and peaceful protests against the Iranian regime. I am proud that this resolution has over 100 cosponsors already, which sends a clear signal to the people of Iran that they are not alone.
And I’m particularly happy to know that there are so many Iranian American women activists taking part in this conference as well. The Iranian women who took to the streets to remove their headscarves and speak up for their rights took incredible risks, but they did it because they believed that they should have the right to make their own choices, and I’m proud to stand with them in this fight.
The Iranian people deserve to be free from the harsh and violent rule of Iran’s mullahs and the world deserves to feel safe from Iranian support for terror and violence. I support your work to establish a free and democratic Iran that works with the U.S. and others to build a safer world. So thank you all for your important work to promote human rights and a more free Iran.