Senate Iran Policy Briefing to Address Tehran’s Malign Conduct


Nowruz event will discuss Iran regime’s abysmal human rights record, terrorism, and hostage diplomacy


Iranian New Year, Nowruz

Bi-partisan senators call for supporting human rights and democracy in Iran, end Tehran’s terrorism, regional instability, and nuclear weapons

Washington DC, March 17, 2021 – Senior members of U.S. Senate committees on Foreign Relations, Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Appropriations, and the Select Committee on Intelligence, joined prominent political figures at a briefing organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) to discuss the fundamentals of an effective U.S. policy on Iran. The event, marking the Iranians’ ancient new year, Nowruz, also addressed many aspects of Tehran’s malign behavior at home and abroad, including abysmal human rights record, terrorism in the region and Europe, and systemic reliance on hostage diplomacy.

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and event’s keynote speaker, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi pointed to explosive conditions in Iran and said, “The people of Iran no longer tolerate life under the fundamentalist mullahs and have risen up to turn the pages of history.” Mrs. Rajavi contrasted the perilous state of the regime today with that of 2015 and noted, “Western governments must prevent this regime from abusing their countries’ legal, diplomatic, banking and technological resources, or their democratic traditions to conduct terrorism.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Robert Menendez (D-NJ) told the conference that, “Over the past year, we’ve seen Iran prove again on the world stage that it is not interested in making peace with its neighbors or prioritizing the wellbeing of its people. Beyond its abuses of people at home, the regime continues to support terrorism and the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad, and continues on its path towards a nuclear weapon.”

Senator Menendez added, I am pleased that “you are joined by many of your compatriots in Albania, your safety and security prove that dedicated advocacy and fighting for your cause can improve your situation and hope that all Iranian people may someday be able to live in safety, dignity, and freedom.”

Chairman Menendez assured the Iranian people, “you have friends in Congress and throughout the U S government, as well as a host of international NGOs,” and stressed that the United States remains, “united against the regime’s fundamental abuses against its citizens, oppressing and denying fundamental rights to women.”

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development of Foreign Relations Committee pointed to the regime’s abysmal human rights record and expressed hope that “brighter days are ahead” in Iran.  He then added, “President Biden has committed to putting human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy.” The Biden-Harris administration, he mentioned, “is committed to a world in which human rights are protected. And those who commit human rights abuses are held accountable.”

The senior senator from Maryland then added, “I am working with the Biden Harris administration and my colleagues in the Senate to continue to hold Iran accountable…. we all agree that Iran must never possess a nuclear weapon and Iranian support for human rights violations and terrorism must end.”

Senator Cardin also stressed, “We stand with you to engage legitimate protests against an oppressive corrupt regime. We support your rights to peacefully assemble without fear of persecution and violence. Whether in Iran or elsewhere, you have my commitment. You have America’s commitment.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation of the Foreign Relations Committee pointed to the plight of women and girls in Iran and reminded how they, “Continue to be treated as second class citizens. Human rights advocates, ethnic minorities, journalists, and people with dual nationalities are targeted by the regime. They face abuse, torture, arbitrary detention, harassment, and even death.” She called for U.S. foreign policy to draw contrast with these actions and said, “It’s necessary that we support nascent democracies, that we bolster human rights and prioritize democratic movements over oppressive countries.”

In his remarks, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ranking Member, Select Committee on Intelligence said, “the Iranian people deserve a government that respects the rule of law, democratic norms, and places the needs of the Iranian people above funding its adventurism abroad.” Senator Rubio who is also a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee added, “I pray for the day that Iran is free and peace loving. Until that day comes, we will continue to do all we can to counter Iran’s malign activities and stand up for the Iranian people.”

Foreign Relations Committee member, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), called for the U.S. to address Iranian regime threat, “By strategic strength and by boldly speaking the truth, we likewise, must work to collapse the Iranian regime that oppresses its people, and that seeks to sow terror all over the world. I know this is possible and, not only that, it is necessary.” He added that the free world, “will not be safe until the regime has fallen. When we’re talking about the future of Iran, it is my belief that we need to collapse the regime and with your help and with your leadership, we will.”

Senator Todd Young (R-IN), the Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism of the Foreign Relations Committee condemned Ayatollahs’ abuse of power and said, “Last year, I stood with the people of Iran as they risked their life and limb to demand freedom in the face of oppressive policies. In the 117th Congress, I’ve continued to voice my views and strongly denounced the Iranian regime and expressed my support for the economic sanctions that are weakening the regime’s stranglehold on their people.”

Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said, “The regime ruling Iran has lost legitimacy through its failure to abide by basic international obligations, to respect human rights and civil liberties.”  He made it clear that in the United States Senate, “I will continue standing with the people of Iran who have never given up their pursuit for a democratic peaceful and non-nuclear republic.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) who serves on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary emphasized the need to hold the mullahs’ regime accountable, “by sustaining our sanctions against the regime.”

Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Ranking Member, on Subcommittee Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies on Appropriation Committee said, “We must hold the regime accountable. That’s why last month, I joined my Senate colleagues to reaffirm the need for maintaining sanctions on the Iranian regime, until it abandons its nuclear ambitions and ends its role provoking violence and instability in the region”. He then added “The US must have these tools at its disposal to deal with Iran’s transgressions.” Removing sanctions, he added, “will only embolden the regime and provide funding and support for its terrorist proxies in the Middle East. It would also empower them to suppress and exploit the people of Iran even more.”

Other speakers included General James Jones, USMC (Ret.), the former National Security Advisor and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. General Jones pointed to Iranian resistance leadership and said, “it is now a fact and people know that the Iranian regime fears the NCRI above all other organizations in terms of threat to the regime.” Because he added, “the NCRI is a combination of, many, many different factions of brave Iranian ex patriots who live for the day, where freedom and justice will be restored for all people of Iran.”

Former Senator Joseph Lieberman stressed the need to hold the clerical regime accountable particularly because, “The government in Iran has never been weaker.”  He pointed to the widespread discontent and the 2019 protests across Iran and referenced its organized leadership.  In my opinion he said, “there is no more effective, visionary, principled, patriotic leader of the opposition, the resistance to the regime in Iran, than Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.”

Former Senator Kelly Ayotte cited regime’s total mishandling of the COVID pandemic and said, “Iran has failed its own people. It has failed to take care of the people when they have struggled with the COVID 19 pandemic.” In contrast, she said, “we know that there is an alternative to the tyranny of the mullahs, Madam Rajavi and the NCRI have a 10-point plan, which envisions a peaceful democratic future for the people of Iran; One where basic human rights are respected, and Iran is a peaceful non-nuclear state. The plan offered by the NCRI is one that would provide the Iranian people with peace and prosperity.”

Related Posts