By NCRI-US Staff, February 18, 2022
On Friday, February 11, 2022, the Organization of Iranian American Communities held a virtual event in conjunction with the anniversary of Iran’s 197 anti-dictatorial revolution stressing their support for a democratic, secular republic in Iran. Fifty-three members of the US Congress attended the event. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) presented the event’s keynote.
The UK’s daily, The Independent, reports that dozens of bipartisan American lawmakers attended the conference to show solidarity and support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the Republic. Regarding the ongoing talks in Vienna over Tehran’s nuclear defiance, the President-Elect of NCRI and keynote speaker, Maryam Rajavi, told lawmakers that lifting sanctions would result in “more conflict, carnage, and insecurity in the region” and warned against any policy that would “appease the mullahs.”
The contingent of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, denounced the Iranian regime and reiterated the need for accountability and swift action in light of continued human rights violations and abuses. According to The Independent’s reporting, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-IL, affirmed the NCRI’s sentiment saying, “Today we commemorate the anniversary of the 1979 revolution for freedom in Iran. We say no to shah’s single-party dictatorship, no to mullahs’ theocracy, and yes to democracy and a republican form of government.”
Brad Sherman, D-CA, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its relevant subcommittee on the Middle East listened in earnest as Rajavi denounced “a decade [of] useless negotiations with the regime,” which she argued led to “the opportunity to advance its nuclear project.” [Is this whole paragraph a segment from or based on The Independent article? If it is, it should be noted as such. I don’t have the report with me right now]
Meanwhile, Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho remarked, “The barbaric imprisonment and execution of the courageous pro-democracy activists must finally end” and Rep. Scott Peters, D-California, exclaimed, “Men, women, children, Kurds, Bahai, Christians, Jews, and Muslims have all suffered for decades at the hands of an oppressive regime solely focused on maintaining absolute power rather than helping the Iranian people.”
According to The Independent, Rajavi also explained that “The right policy is within reach,” continuing “This is a policy that recognizes the right of the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance to overthrow the religious fascism ruling Iran.”
The policy being referred to is House Resolution 118, endorsed by a bipartisan majority of 252 lawmakers. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., noted, “And that’s why I became the chief sponsor of House Resolution 118, expressing support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran and condemning violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the current Iranian regime.”
Congressman Andy Barr, R-KY, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee also said, “For too long, the Iranian people have been deprived of their fundamental freedoms, for which reason they rejected dictatorship in 1979 and oppose religious tyranny today. And that’s why I became the chief sponsor of House Resolution 118, 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 current Iranian regime.”
Signed by 252 members of Congress, according to the influential daily Arab News, the declaration formally condemns Iran’s “state-sponsored terrorism” and calls for the U.S. to support efforts to establish a democratic, secular, non-nuclear republic of Iran.
Rep. Lisa McClain, R-MI, commented on the resolution saying, “This month marks the 43rd anniversary of Iran’s revolution, a revolution that began with the desire for religious freedom. Unfortunately, that revolution was usurped by a radical religious regime. I’m a proud co-sponsor of House Resolution 118 and a proud supporter of the freedom of the Iranian people.”
The Arab News article also emphasizes the NCRI’s 10-point plan for moving forward in Iran, which includes the right of Iranians to vote, free elections, a market-based economy, a rejection of nuclear technology and development, respect for human rights, and a call for an investigation into President Ebrahim Raisi’s role in the massacres of 1988 and the killings of protesters during subsequent protests.
In its report on the conference, Fox News also focused on the congressional call for an international tribunal into President Ebrahim Raisi in connection to the aforementioned murders. Again, Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas stated that “Giving concession to the Iranian regime will embolden them to kill their own people, to wage terror in the region, and rapidly dash to a nuclear bomb.”
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart’s, R-FL, remarks sum up the sentiments of many of the lawmakers. “This is a regime that has oppressed the people of Iran for way too long. This is a regime that has spread terrorism around the planet for way too long. This is a regime that must go. So, to every single one who supports the cause of a free Iran, know that you have me on your side. Iran must and will be free because of people who are not willing to just wait until that moment, but who are willing to stand up and express solidarity with the cause of a free, democratic Iran.”