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California Democrats Endorse Iranian Student Visa Fix, Human Rights

The California Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly to build bridges between the American and Iranian peoples and to express its support for the nonviolent human rights and democracy movement in Iran at its annual convention in Sacramento this weekend.

California Democratic Party Convention

Sacramento, CA - The California Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly to build bridges between the American and Iranian peoples and to express its support for the nonviolent human rights and democracy movement in Iran at its annual convention in Sacramento this weekend.  The measure was strongly supported by NIAC and successfully presented to the state party by California Democratic Party Assembly District 70 delegate, Sunny Zia.

The resolution calls for deepening connections between the American and Iranian people by increasing opportunities for Iranian students and addressing the Single-Entry Visa policy, which prevents Iranian students from being able to leave the U.S. for the duration of their studies without losing their visas; easing restrictions that prevent American non-governmental organizations from providing humanitarian relief to the Iranian people; and by ensuring that the Iranian people have access to internet communication tools.

The measure also applauds the recent appointment of an independent UN human rights monitor on Iran, and encourages the President to work with international allies to impose targeted financial and travel sanctions against Iranian government officials responsible for human rights abuses.

These positions reflect many of NIAC’s top policy priorities.

The resolution was the only foreign policy related resolution passed by the California Democratic Party.  “I’m delighted that the California Democratic Party has taken such a strong stand in endorsing concrete measures to support the Iranian people and build bridges between the American and Iranian people,” said Ms. Zia. “It’s my hope that our Senators and Representatives will stand united with the Iranian-American community in supporting the people of Iran in their quest for human rights and democracy.”

The full text of the resolution is below:

Supporting the Nonviolent Human Rights and Democracy Movement in Iran

WHEREAS, the Government of Iran has systematically violated its constitutional and international treaty obligations to uphold universal human rights and has undertaken a campaign of violence, persecution, and intimidation against Iranian citizens seeking those rights, including by suppressing free access to the Internet; and

WHEREAS, the United States government has taken several positive steps to address the human rights crisis in Iran, easing U.S. sanctions on noncommercial Internet communications software, imposing targeted human rights sanctions on Iranian officials who have committed human rights violations, and supporting the establishment of a Special Rapporteur on Iran at the United Nations Human Rights Council; and

WHEREAS, some United States sanctions and policies continue to have the unintended effect of isolating and punishing the Iranian people, including by blocking the Iranian people from accessing internet communication tools, preventing U.S.-based non-governmental organizations from working directly with the Iranian people to provide humanitarian and human rights assistance in Iran, and imposing unnecessary burdens such as a single-entry student visa policy on Iranians seeking visas to the United States. 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party condemns the ongoing human rights abuses perpetrated by the Government of Iran, supports the establishment of a Special Rapporteur for Iran at the United Nations Human Rights Council to address human rights violations, and encourages the President and Secretary of State to work with international partners to impose targeted multilateral financial and travel sanctions against Iranian government officials who have ordered or carried out human rights abuses against the people of Iran; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party stands with the Iranian people in their century long struggle for democracy and human rights and supports measures to build bridges between the American and Iranian peoples, including by easing restrictions that prevent the Iranian people from accessing internet communications tools and that prevent American non-governmental organizations from providing humanitarian relief to the Iranian people, and by expanding the number and types of visas available to Iranian students.

 

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