Bipartisan Senators Support Iran Uprising, Call for Increased Pressure on Iran Ayatollahs
by OIAC | December 8, 2022
At the US Senate Kennedy Caucus Room, bipartisan Senators expressed support for Iran protesters seeking democratic change & called for more sanctions
WASHINGTON, DC – At a briefing held in the historic Senate Kennedy Caucus Room, bipartisan Senators and prominent policy experts expressed support for nationwide protests for democratic change in Iran and called for additional pressure on the clerical regime.
Addressing the event virtually, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran said, “All evidence suggests that the regime has reached the point of no return in the final phase of its rule. The Shah’s dictatorship had a well-equipped army of 400,000 men, but it could not overcome the will of the Iranian people.” “Why a child-killing regime that brutally represses women and imposes discrimination against them is a member of the UN institutions. Is this not an insult to humanity? The Iranian Resistance expects the US Senate to lead an initiative to expel the regime from UNICEF.”
I’d like to thank & recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran for their commitment to elevating your voices, the voices of Iranians inside of Iran & constantly advocating for their freedom”
— Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
In his speech, Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who Chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said, “Let me start off by thanking the Organization of Iranian American Communities for putting together today’s event on Capitol Hill. I’m thrilled to see so many Iranian Americans from across the country, and I’d like to thank and recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran for their commitment to elevating your voices, the voices of Iranians inside of Iran and constantly advocating for the freedom of the Iranian people.” The spilling of protesters’ blood should never, never, never be normalized, he noted and then added, “and the United States and the international community cannot be silenced. And that’s why just this week, we passed my Senate Concurrent Resolution 47 commending the bravery of Iranian protesters on behalf of the United States government.” He concluded, “Let us continue to protect those in Ashraf 3 and I am committed to doing that. Let’s keep fighting the senseless repression of women and girls.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “We live in a historic times and historic moment, so I stand with Jeanne [Senator Shaheen] to see what we can do to lend our voice to the people who have been out in the streets, the villages, and the towns of Iran saying enough is enough. I think we have reached the point now in the 21st century where it is a time of choosing and I choose the people of Iran over the Ayatollahs.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) referenced ongoing protests and said, “and we are standing in awe with what is happening in Iran, but it is not enough to be impressed by their bravery. We must also stand in lockstep with the people of Iran as they struggle to take back their lives and freedoms.” She urged the Biden administration to enforce existing sanctions and place additional sanctions on clerical regime officials and entities.”
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) concurred and said, “I think we have to put maximum pressure on the Iranian leadership…To the Iranian people, and to Iranian Americans, know that I stand with you every step of the way.” He then added, “ I will stand with you every step along the way and hopefully, we will see a change so that tens of millions of honest, hardworking, freedom-seeking Iranians begin to enjoy their freedoms.”
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said, “I see this extraordinary courage by women and girls [In Iran] who are pricking the consciousness of our world, who are calling the moral imagination of their own people, who are fighting not just for basic rights and freedom but are also what should be, to me, fundamental for all humanity, this idea of human dignity and respect.”
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) said, “When the government has to raid the biggest university to keep people subjugated, there is clearly a problem there that the world needs to stand up for. People are willing to risk their lives and even give their lives for freedom, the least we can do is everything we can possibly do to encourage that and to support that.” He added, “I’ve been working for some time now with the government in Albania, and I went to Albania to see people once . The U.S. Embassy in Albania could be much more helpful than they are. We continue to encourage that.”
Senator John Boozman (R-AR) said, “I think you know most of us are firmly in your corner. My commitment is to help in any way that we can, certainly on the topic of nuclear weapons and human rights.”
Speaking to the women of Iran, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) noted, “I want to say loudly and clearly that we are moved by your courage and your strength. And to all Iranians calling for their fundamental rights to be respected, let me say loudly and clearly that the United States stands with you. We are calling for an immediate end to the barbaric detention of peaceful protesters, an immediate end to the blatant human rights violations.”
Former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said, “there is one leader that has been working on this for decades, who has seen this revolution coming for a long time and has supported it, and that is Mrs. Rajavi, the President elect of the NCRI. It was beautiful to hear her today and Mrs. Rajavi has had the foresight to predict that women would lead this revolution. In a speech 17 years ago, she said, “In the tragedy of women in our enchained homeland, Iran, women’s human identity has been denied, but I assure you that those oppressed today will be the victors of tomorrow.”
Former Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and former U.S. Ambassador Marc Ginsberg also addressed the briefing.
Mrs. Sheila Neinavaei and Mrs. Mitra Samani who had spent seven and four years respectively in the notorious Evin Prison outlined harrowing conditions of political prisoners in Iran as well as their own experiences. Dr. Soolmaz Abooali, a fifteen-time U.S. national and three-time world champion in traditional karate moderated this event.