In a bipartisan initiative, 113 members of the U.S. House of Representatives this week declared their solidarity with the people of Iran in their struggle for freedom, justice, and basic human rights.
“Expressing support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran and condemning violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government,” read House Resolution 118.
U.S. lawmakers who co-sponsored the resolution pointed out the volatile condition of Iran’s society and ongoing struggle by different classes for their inherent rights. In H.Res.118, some 113 Members of Congress mentioned the Iranian government’s use of lethal force to silence protests.
“In 2017, the Iranian regime suppressed protests with repressive force than resulted in at least 25 deaths and 4,000 arrests, including decorated wrestling champion Navid Afkari, who was later executed in September 2020 amidst international outrage,” the lawmakers wrote.
Furthermore, they highlighted the November 2019 protests in Iran, which was ignited by gas price hikes in mid-November. “On November 15, 2019, popular protests against the Iranian regime began and rapidly spread to at least 100 cities throughout the country, and reports indicate that Iranian security forces used lethal force and about 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest, and thousands more were detained during these protests,” the draft resolution read.
The text reiterated its support for H.Res.752 passed by the 116th House of Representatives, titled, “Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes.” They emphasized the imperative of holding the Iranian government accountable for human rights abuses and called on the U.S. government to work with its partners to prevent Tehran from more violations.
“Whereas House Resolution 752 urges the Administration to work to convene emergency sessions of the United Nations Security Council and to work with United States 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 such violations,” H.Res.118 read.
The U.S. Congressmen also declared their support for a letter by seven United Nations experts on September 3, 2020, calling on the international community to take action to investigate the case of mass killing of thousands of political prisoners between July and September 1988, which has come to be known as the 1988 massacre, through the establishment of an international investigations.
Notably, mostly executed prisoners were members and supporters of the Iranian opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI). “The killings were carried out on the orders of a judge, an official from the Ministry of Intelligence, and a state prosecutor, known to the prisoners as ‘Death Commissions,’ which were formed on July 19, 1988, and undertook proceedings in a manner designed to eliminate the regime’s opponents,” the resolution read.
The lawmakers also mentioned the Iranian government’s terror attempts in 2018 against the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). They referred to the Iranian opposition’s grand gathering in June 2018, where “tens of thousands of people gathered in Paris at the Free Iran gathering where they supported advocates for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Republic of Iran, and showed support for the opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for the future of Iran.”
They supported the European agencies efforts to foil a terror attempt orchestrated by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “On February 4, 2021, a court in Belgium sentenced Iran’s diplomat Assadollah Assadi to the maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment for his role in planning to plant a bomb at the Free Iran gathering in 2018, and his 3 accomplices were given jail terms of 15 to 18 years and stripped of their Belgian citizenship,” H.Res.118 read.
Remarkably, on July 10, 2018, a senior Department of State official said, “Iran uses embassies as cover to plot terrorist attacks,” and that “The most recent example is the plot that the Belgians foiled, and we had an Iranian diplomat out of the Austrian Embassy as part of the plot to bomb a meeting of Iranian opposition leaders in Paris.”
“In December 2018, the Government of Albania expelled Iran’s Ambassador, Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, and MOIS station chief in Albania, Mostafa Roudaki, for planning terrorist activities against Iranian dissidents and members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK),” the U.S. lawmakers wrote.
In a nutshell, in their resolution, 113 lawmakers reiterated that the U.S. House of Representatives—
(1) condemns past and present Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks against United States citizens and officials, as well as Iranian dissidents, including the Iranian regime’s terror plot against the “Free Iran 2018–the Alternative” gathering in Paris;
(2) calls on relevant United States Government agencies to work with European allies, including those in the Balkans where Iran has expanded its presence, to hold Iran accountable for breaching diplomatic privileges, and to call on nations to prevent the malign activities of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic missions, with the goal of closing them down, including the Iranian Embassy in Albania;
(3) stands with the people of Iran who are continuing to hold legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive and corrupt regime; and
(4) recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.