House Says Iran is Using Nuclear Program to Distract from Human Rights Abuses
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution today marking the one-year anniversary of Iran's June 12, 2009, elections. The resolution condemns the human rights abuses of Iran's government, calls for "freedom and democracy for the people of Iran," and condemns Iran's "continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability."
Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today observed the one-year anniversary of Iran’s disputed elections by passing H.Res. 1457, a non-binding resolution that enumerates and condemns the human rights abuses of Iran’s government, calls for “freedom and democracy for the people of Iran,” and condemns Iran’s “continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”
H.Res. 1457 also condemns the Iranian Government’s “use of its nuclear program to distract attention from its horrific abuses of the human rights of the Iranian people”. The resolution, marking the election anniversary that occurred on June 12, was introduced after Congress announced earlier this week that an agreement has been finalized for Congressional sanctions regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The resolution passed unanimously just minutes after those sanctions were approved overwhelmingly by the House.
Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) was joined by members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to introduce the resolution, which outlines the case that Iran’s elections were fraudulent and condemns the Iranian government’s politically motivated executions and violent crackdowns. The resolution asserts that Iran is in violation of its international and constitutional obligations and affirms the universality of individual rights. In passing the resolution, the House conveyed its “support for all Iranian citizens who courageously struggle” for those rights, while urging the immediate release of all political prisoners.
H.Res.1457 is not the first resolution passed by Congress following the June elections that expresses solidarity with the Iranian people and condemns the Iran’s human rights abuses. However, it is the first such resolution to include condemnations of Iran’s nuclear program, a significant departure from previous human rights resolutions on Iran—including an election anniversary resolution passed by the Senate on June 14—which have focused solely on human rights and the suffering of Iranians.
Joining Rep. Costa as original cosponsors of the resolution are Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ilena Ros Lehtinen (R-FL), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committtee, Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Dan Burton (R-IN), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Middle East Subcommittee, and Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX), Ron Klein (R-FL), and Mike Pence (R-IN).