Twenty Four House Members Condemn Iran Regime’s Terrorism, Rights Abuses, & Diplomatic Extortion
Washington DC, March 3, 2021 – At a Virtual Congressional Briefing hosted by Organization of Iranian American Communities on Wednesday March 3rd, twenty-four bipartisan members of Congress condemned Iranian regime’s state sponsored terrorism, human rights abuses and welcomed a European court’s verdict against its terrorist diplomat. The participants highlighted House Resolution 118 and recognized the more than 150 bipartisan cosponsors of this bill which cites regime’s brutal crackdown on dissidents and addresses regime’s abuse of diplomatic privileges in order to advance its terrorist operations.
This timely event was held during a week when Iranian regime again launched a missile attack on a U.S. base in Iraq, the IAEA confirmed that it is violation of NPT commitments, and the regime killed at least 40 peaceful protesters in southeastern Iran.
Congressman Tom McClintock, the principle republican sponsor of H.Res.118, pointed to the broad bipartisan cosponsors of the bill, ”representing more than 83 million Americans.” Mr. McClintock said the regime, “has been using terrorism to pursue their perverted foreign policy agenda,” particularly naming Asadollah Asadi, a regime diplomat terrorist, now serving a 20 year prison sentence for his role in planning of a terrorist plot against Free Iran gathering in Paris, France. Congressman McClintock told the attendees, “many of you were present in that gathering to support this movement and to show support for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for the future of Iran.” Congressman McClintock encouraged the U.S. government to “constructively engage Madam Rajavi and her Jeffersonian platform for a free, secular, and democratic republic in Iran.”
Congressman Brad Sherman, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the chief democratic sponsor of H.Res.118 said Assadi’s conviction in an impartial Belgian court, “demonstrates the willingness of the regime to commit acts of terror around the world, particularly agains the United States, our citizens and officials, as well as to terrorize Iranian.” Mr. Sherman reiterated the resolution’s call for, “the United Nations Security Council to work with the United States and our partners and allies to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime and establish a mechanism by which the United Nations Security Council can monitor and hopefully prevent such violations.”
Congressman Steven Cohen, who chairs the Congressional Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus, reaffirmed his commitment to support the Iranian people for a free Iran and said, “The Iranian people deserve a government that respects their fundamental rights and freedom.”
Representative Dan Crenshaw pointed to Iranian people’s longstanding desire for secular democracy and said, “In 1979, 1988, 2009 and from 2019 until today, the Iranian people take to the streets to demand their rights, rights given to them by God, not from an Ayatollah or government.” In denouncing regime’s abuse of diplomatic privileges, Mr. Crenshaw reminded the audience that the regime’s plan to bomb the Free Iran rally in Paris could have hurt a lot of people, including, “maybe even some of the people who are with us today, people who want nothing more than freedom for their country and the Iranian people.”
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas condemned human rights violations as well as regime’s state sponsored terrorism and said, “we stand with the people of Iran.”
Representative Don Bacon, a member of House Armed Services Committee cited a September 2020 Amnesty International report and said, “we have learned that detained protestors were subjected to widespread torture, including beatings, floggings, electrical shock, mock executions, waterboarding and sexual violence.” Rep. Bacon called for accountability and said the regime ruling Iran, “simply cannot be allowed to continue brutalizing its own people and terrorizing others without penalty or consequence.” Mr. Bacon referenced House Resolution 752 during the 116th Congress which, “urged the United States administration to engage the United Nations Security Council and our international partners and allies to condemn the ongoing human rights crisis being perpetrated by the Iranian regime and to establish a mechanism by which the United Nations can monitor and call attention to Iran’s brutal and unlawful repression of its people.”
In her remarks, Congresswoman Judy Chu, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, addressed the ongoing protests in Iran and said, “We saw that in 2019 that popular protests against Iran’s cruel government spread throughout the country and at least 100 cities became home to protest by proud Iranians who rejected the violence of the mullahs. But tragically, violence is all the mullas know.” She then added, “That is why I supported extending the U.N. arms embargo on Iran and it is why I am a proud cosponsor of H.Res.118.”
In his remarks, Congressman French Hill reaffirmed that, “America stands for freedom and we want those freedoms that we take for granted here of assembly, of speech, of religion available to our friends, those citizens of Iran. I’ll continue to stand up against the regime in Tehran as well as authoritarian dictatorships around the world that prohibit their citizens from experiencing those fundamental freedoms.”
“As a proud member of the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Congressman Tim Burchett who severs in the House Foreign Affairs Committee said, “I want you to know we will always stand up to this regime in Congress and we just will not stand for state sponsored terrorism.”
Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, also a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the audience, “The Iranian people who are brave and willing to speak out against the regime, calling for nonnuclear solutions and making sure that they have the freedoms to demonstrate is so critically important and something that I greatly support.”
Congressman Scott Peters of California pointed to bipartisan support for H.Res.118 and said, “This resolution emphasizes the Iranian people’s desire for an open and free society backed by a fair system of government without the threat of violence or terror. It also seeks to hold Iran accountable for its egregious human rights violations and regional destabilization measures, like the growing ballistic missile program, which not only threatens Iran’s own democracy but that of the United States and our allies around the globe.”
“The people of Iran must have the right to determine their own future and to ensure that their rights of expression, religious belief, political opinion, assembly and representative, representative government are truly respected,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart in his remarks.
In his message, Congressman Michael Guest, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism emphasized that, “The Iranian people have been deprived of their fundamental freedoms for which reason they rejected monarchic dictatorship and are opposing religious tyranny.” The plot against the 2018 Free Iran gathering, Mr. Guest said, “shows the regime’s continued disdain for democratic values and the rule of law within and outside of Iran’s borders.”
“As a Marine who served in the global war on terror,” Congressman Van Taylor said in his remarks, “I have witnessed first-hand the heartbreaking acts of violence perpetrated by groups like those in Tehran, who seek to strip people of their humanity and destroy any form of a democratic society.”
Congressman Andrew Garbarino called on the Iranian American community to make their presence known and to communicate with their leaders and, “further advocate for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.”
Congresswoman Debbie Lesko also highlighted H.Res.118 and said, “I’m an original cosponsor of H.Res.118 because I support the people of Iran and I support a democratic, secular and nonnuclear Iran government.”
Representative David Schweikert, also of Arizona, cited the “powerful story”of the Iranian American community in the U.S and encouraged the community to “Keep up the message. Keep up the work.”
Representative Gus Bilirakis said that, “The United States will always stand with those fighting for the right to free speech and democracy. We will continue to stand with the Iranian citizens until their goal of a free and democratic society becomes a reality. The Iranian regime would love nothing more than to dismantle the West and the values we hold dear. As Americans, we must never let that regime succeed, or any other regime around the world.”
Rep. Jody Hice denounced Iran regime’s human rights violations and said, “The Iranian government routinely violates the rights of its own citizens, things like religious liberties constantly being violated, and of course the lives of people all around the world seem to continually be threatened by the terrorist organizations coming out of Iran.” “Quite frankly Iran should have no significant place on the international stage as long as they continue this behavior,” Mr. Congressman Hice added.
Congresswoman Carol Miller said the Iranian people, “deserve the rights to freedom and assembly, as well as the right to confront the Iranian regime’s authoritarian crackdown on dissent and democracy” and added, “I will always support the Iranian peoples’ efforts, and I thank our Iranian American community for its steadfast advocacy for their fellow countrymen and women.”
Rep. Paul Gosar applauded, “Belgium’s recent decision to issue the maximum punishment of 20 years imprisonment to Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi for masterminding the terror plot against a 2018 Free Iran Gathering in Paris” and called the foiled terror plot, “a clear case of state-sponsored terrorism with full facilitation of the foreign ministry.”
Rep. John Moolenaar said, “The Iranian American Community has made incredible contributions to our nation in business, medicine, science and the art.” Every person, he said, “has the inalienable right to freedom of expression and I hope that one day this will be true in Iran.”
Congressman Pete Sessions thanked Iranian American community members for their contributions in the U.S. and focused attention on their, “love of freedom and opportunity to help this country to continue in its battle against terrorism and those who would plot and do bad things to honest and great people.”
In his address, Congressman Dough LaMalfa said the United States wants to, “support freedom for the people of Iran and all of them that are connected with that. What we have going on with Iran, being a state sponsor of terror in many places around the world, as well as the atrocities it commits on its own people who just look for a freedom like we have in this country here. They want choices.”
Former Congressman Ted Poe also addressed the event, drawing from his experiences as a judge and later as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The world is no longer hospitable to tyrants in Iran that sewed terror against its own people and the protests in over 100 Iranian cities, continues in spite of persecution,” Judge Poe told the audience. He then added, “these protesters rightfully chant, “The enemy is right here. They lie that it is in America.” America’s not the threat. The murderous mullahs are the threat. Yes, Ashraf’s cry of liberty, resilience to tyranny and the prayer of all Iranians to be free from this treacherous regime is loudly heard in the streets of Iran, in the streets all over the world. The mullahs know their days are numbered. That is why this regime sent a diplomat terrorist to the heart of Europe to destroy Madam Rajavi and silence her and you, to delay the inevitable democratic regime change by the people of Iran, your organized resistance. But justice came to the Iranian government-sponsored terrorist and he received a 20 year sentence by a European court.”
Judge Poe then eloquently reminded the audience that, “justice in this court speaks louder than all the words of politicians in any country,” and that “Iran has sewn the wind of terror. It now must reap the whirlwind of justice.”