By Pooya Stone
On Monday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution to condemn the Iranian government for its crackdown on peaceful protests and support the rights of the Iranian people to freedom of expression.
The resolution, sponsored by Theodore Deutch (D-Fl), noted that the recent Iran uprising began over a sudden hike in the price of fuel and quickly became a call for regime change. This was “the most significant antigovernment protests in Iran since June 2009” and the authorities cracked down violently on the protesters arresting 12,000 and killing 1,000, even shutting down the internet to prevent news of the protests and the crackdown from spreading.
The resolution said: “Reports indicate that Iranian Government authorities have, in many instances, refused to return victims’ bodies to their families and that security forces have removed bodies from morgues and transferred them to unknown locations.”
It quoted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had said on November 18: “The United States is monitoring the ongoing protests in Iran closely. We condemn strongly any acts of violence committed by this regime against the Iranian people and are deeply concerned about reports of several fatalities… The Islamic Republic must cease violence against its own people and should immediately restore the ability of all Iranians to access the free and open internet.”
It was resolved that the House of Representatives stands with the Iranian people, who are engaged in legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive and corrupt government. It further said that the House condemns the Iranian government’s human rights abuses against the Iranian people, as well as significant corruption, and destabilizing activities abroad.
The resolution commended the executive branch and key allies for their statements in support of the protesters and called on all democratic governments and institutions to support the Iranian people. It also urged the Administration to:
- convene emergency sessions of the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian authorities
- establish a mechanism by which the Security Council can monitor such violations
- expedite the license of communications technology to Iran to improve the ability of the Iranian people to speak freely
- work with the international community to ensure that violations of human rights are part of all formal and informal multilateral or bilateral discussions with and regarding Iran
The resolution said the House “respects the proud history and rich culture of the Iranian nation and fully 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, open, and democratic political system”.