Posted by: newperspectives85 | September 1, 2012

U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan Resolution Supporting Iranian People’s Call for Democracy, Human Rights

http://www.kirk.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=55

U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan Resolution Supporting Iranian People’s Call for Democracy, Human Rights

Thursday, Feb 17 2011

WASHINGTON – Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution condemning Iran’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists and expressing support for the Iranian people. The resolution, sponsored by U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), came two days after Iranian government officials called for the execution of key Iranian opposition leaders.

“As Americans, we must stand squarely with the Iranian people against an oppressive dictatorship that denies its citizens basic rights and freedoms,” Senator Kirk said. “The Iranian government’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, proliferation of ballistic missiles and sponsorship of international terrorism all stem from the fundamental nature of a brutal and repressive regime. It’s time for the United States to establish the issue of human rights in Iran as a central pillar in our international dialogue.”

“We have seen in just a few short weeks the dramatic power of nonviolent protest. We have seen that ultimately, dictators will lose their iron grip,” Senator Levin said. “Our resolution would add our voice to the many voices who are calling for the Iranian government to respect the undeniable and universal rights of its people.”

On Monday, Secretary Clinton said, “What you see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime, a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt.” Clinton added that “when given the opportunity to afford their people the same rights as they called for on behalf of the Egyptian people, once again, illustrate their true nature.”

On Tuesday, President Obama saluted the ‘‘courage” of the Iranian people and said “we are going to continue to see the people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms and a more representative government.” Also Tuesday, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton called ‘‘on the Iranian authorities to fully respect and protect the rights of their citizens, including freedom of expression and the right to assemble peacefully.”

The full text of the bipartisan Senate resolution appears below:

Supporting democracy, universal rights, and the Iranian people in their peaceful call for a representative and responsive democratic government.

Whereas, on February 5, 2011, Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi requested permission from the Government of Iran to hold a peaceful demonstration on February 14, 2011;

Whereas Moussavi and Karroubi wrote, ‘‘In order to declare support for the popular movements in the region, particularly with those of the freedom seeking movements of the people of Egypt and Tunisia against dictatorships, we request a permit to invite the people for a rally.”;

Whereas the Government of Iran denied this request and, on February 9, 2011, Revolutionary Guard Commander Hossein Hamedani said, ‘‘We definitely see them as enemiesof the revolution and spies, and we will confront them with force.”;

Whereas, before the planned protest on February 14, 2011, the Government of Iran placed Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi under house arrest and interrupted Internet, text message, satellite, and cell phone service inside Iran;

Whereas, on February 14, 2011, the people of Iran held demonstrations protesting the Iranian regime in Tehran, Rasht, Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz, Kermanshah, and Ahwaz;

Whereas, on February 15, 2011, members of the parliament of Iran called for the execution of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Moussavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Mohammad Khatami;

Whereas, on the same day, speaker of the Parliament in Iran Ali Larijani said, ‘‘The parliament condemns the Zionist, American, anti-revolutionary and anti-national actions of the misled seditionists.”;

Whereas, on February 14, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, ‘‘What you see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime, a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt. And now when given the opportunity to afford their people the same rights as they called for on behalf of the Egyptian people, once again, illustrate their true nature.”;

Whereas, on February 15, 2011, President Barack Obama saluted the ‘‘courage” of the Iranian people and said, ‘‘We are going to continue to see the people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms and a more representative government.”;

Whereas, on February 15, 2011, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton called ‘‘on the Iranian authorities to fully respect and protect the rights of their citizens, including freedom of expression and the right to assemble peacefully”;

Whereas, on February 3, 2011, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 44, 112th Congress, reaffirming the commitment of the United States to the universal rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of access to information, including the Internet, and expressed strong support for the people of Egypt in their peaceful calls for a representative and responsive democratic government that respects these rights; and

Whereas the people of Iran also deserve support from the United States in their peaceful struggle for a representative and responsive democratic government that respects their universal rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, including via the Internet: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate-

(1) condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones;

(2) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to the universal rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, including via the Internet;

(3) expresses strong support for the people of Iran in their peaceful calls for a representative and responsive democratic government that respect these rights;

(4) calls on the Government of Iran to release all Iranians detained or imprisoned solely on the basis of their religion, faith, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or political belief;

(5) calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish an independent human rights monitor for Iran; and

(6) affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.

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