Conference on Human Rights in Iran held in the US Senate
On the occasion of Nowruz, Iranian New Year, a ceremony was held in the Senate by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC).
Although the event coincided with the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, moderators said they were sad on witnessing a very unfortunate situation in Iran as coronavirus has engulfed all 31 provinces of the country, thousands have died and the regime has shown no sign that it is willing or capable of resolving this catastrophe.
The event was moderated by Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, who said in his opening speech:
“We see an authoritarian regime that uses violence. And above all, we see Maryam Rajavi and NCRI as a viable democratic alternative that beat expresses the hopes and aspirations of the Iranian people.”
He elaborated on the February 21 sham elections for the regime’s Parliament:
“As you know on Feb21, Iran held the 1st round of Parliamentary elections. Almost 58M Iranian were eligible to Vote but only 25M actually joined. The lowest turnout. The Iranian people knew that the elections had been rigged, not at polling stations, but in the weeks and months before voting,” he said.
“It was also a signal to the international community that the Iranian people are willing to defy the regime and take brave and courageous steps to build a real democracy, one that represents their interests and respects their dignity. The only conclusion I can draw is that this sham election, without even the pretense of fairness, is a sign of the regime’s weakness, not its strength.”
The program began with a video message from Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. In her message, Mrs. Rajavi draw the attention to the “urgent situation that is the ongoing tragedy in Iran,”
“Due to the regime’s failure to inform the people about the spread of coronavirus or to take the necessary preventive measures, more than 3,000 people have died so far,” Mrs. Rajavi said.
“The regime officials concealed the presence of the virus in Iran for several weeks to ensure a turnout in the sham parliamentary election.
The consequences are not limited only to Iran. They have caused the spread of the virus to several countries.
Today, the people of Iran rightly blame the regime for the current situation. Therefore, the objective of the regime and its suppressive forces is to suppress people’s discontent.
The regime’s fear and its suppressive measures are due to the fact that Iran is on the verge of change.
The November 2019 uprising in Iran displayed the Iranian people’s resolve for regime change,” she affirmed.
Mrs. Rajavi concluded:” The policy of appeasement, which helped the regime to prolong its repressive rule, has failed. Let it be clear, the Iranian people and their organized resistance will overthrow the regime.
A message from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was next, with regrets for not being able to deliver his message to the gathering in person.
“It is necessary to hold the regime’s officials accountable for crimes against humanity, and to increase pressure on the regime to release the political prisoners and to ensure free access to the internet for the Iranian people,“ Senator Cruz said in his message.
“I can proudly say that America stands with the men and women of Iran in their fight against these cruel, oppressive, murderous tyrants. In the Senate, I have been a strong advocate for applying a maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime, to hold them accountable for their human rights abuses and once and for all end their reign of terror. I believe the threat of a nuclear Iran is the single greatest national security threat facing the United States and we must do everything possible to eliminate that threat. To date, the single most important foreign policy decision that this administration has had to face in the past three years has been the decision to pull out of the disastrous Obama-Iran nuclear deal. I have expressed my support for President Trump and his administration for beginning the process to end the disastrous Obama-Iran nuclear deal,” the Texas senator concluded.
“Iranians are rising for their freedom, Ghassem Soleimani got what he deserved. He killed more than 600 US soldiers and thousands in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen,” senator Joe Lieberman said in his speech.
Senator Liberman high lights the Iranian regime role on the spreading coronavirus in Iran and said, "Iran continues using Mahan Air to travel to China back and forth to this date without taking any precautions", and mentioned, "Staff has a great opportunity to see how policies are made and how you can help to change the history."
Senators Ben Cardin and Jeanne Shaheen also spoke.
“Our policy is to penalize this regime on behalf of the Iranian people. This is a nonpartisan effort. As Martin Luther King has said we are here for human rights of all people around the world” Senator Cardin said.
“We need to take a stand with the Iranian people. The future of Iran belongs to Iranian people,” senator Shaheen affirmed.
Senator Gary Peters joined the ceremony and said, "I thank your organization for what you have been doing to inform and keep us at Senate up to date about the reality in Iran from Human Rights to Nuclear activities to terrorist activities. Your work is bipartisan."
Cardin Resolution Condemns Iran’s Violent Crackdown on Protestors, Supports Rights of the People of Iran to Determine Their Future
Senators Call on Global Community to Hold Human Rights Abusers Accountable
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, today introduced a resolution, S. Res. 539, that decries the Iranian government’s recent violent crackdown on protestors ? in which hundreds were killed and thousands arrested ? and supports the rights of the people of Iran to determine their own future. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) are original co-sponsors of the measure.
The new legislation recounts Iran’s repeated instances of gross violations of human rights, from using live ammunition on unarmed civilians to planning assassinations on dissidents abroad, and also details the Iranian government’s efforts to shut down internet access and the ability of its citizens to freely and peacefully assemble.
Senator Cardin’s resolution “stands with the people of Iran that are engaged in legitimate protests against an oppressive, corrupt regime [and] supports the right of Iranians to peacefully assemble, without fear of persecution and violence, whether in Iran or internationally.”
The resolution also “supports efforts by the people of Iran to promote the establishment of basic freedoms that build the foundation for the emergence of a freely elected and transparent republic.”
“This resolution is intended to issue a clear show of support for the people of Iran who are peacefully trying to improve their country,” said Senator Cardin. “They need to know that we stand with them and believe that they deserve to live in a free society where they can exercise their fundamental freedoms.”
“This resolution also calls upon U.S. and world leaders to send a clear signal through future multilateral and bilateral discussion that the Iranian government’s human rights violations are unacceptable,” said Senator Cardin. “Standing with the people of Iran as they engage in peaceful protests is not part of a partisan platform. It is simply the right thing to do.”
The full resolution (S. Res. 539) can be downloaded here.