NIAC Statement on Congressional Human Rights Resolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6325
Email: jabdi@niacouncil.org

 The National Iranian American Council issued the following statement on H.Res.754, a non-binding resolution introduced in the House of Representatives condemning the government of Iran for its gross human rights violations:

“NIAC and the Iranian-American community continue to have serious concerns regarding the systemic violation of human rights in Iran, and want to see these concerns addressed.  That is one of the many reasons why NIAC supports diplomacy towards a nuclear agreement that removes the threat of war and begins the process of removing punishing sanctions.  Such a deal, as Iranian human rights defenders have continuously attested, can benefit the human rights situation by helping eliminate the supposed justifications for the harsh security atmosphere in Iran and by lifting pressure that is squeezing ordinary Iranians, particularly in Iran’s middle class.  Moreover, a deal can open up new diplomatic channels through which to address human rights concerns.

“NIAC supports H.Res.754 in principle, but has strong reservations regarding the timing of the measure and fears that opponents of negotiations in both Washington and Tehran will use the non-binding resolution as a justification for undermining negotiations.  The nuclear talks have already created new channels to address other issues of concern with Iran, including human rights and Americans imprisoned in Iran.  As the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran stated, the nuclear negotiations ‘have opened up more communications channels with Iran and…greater potential to communicate interests on human rights through these channels.’   A non-binding resolution can be an important gesture by Congress, but it should not be allowed to create barriers to the tangible benefits created by diplomacy. 

“The human rights situation in Iran is deplorable. Any effort to exploit the situation as a means to scuttle a diplomatic agreement that can actually improve human rights in Iran are doing the Iranian people a grave disservice. Those in Congress who care about Iranian human rights should support a peaceful resolution of the nuclear dispute and ensure this non-binding resolution is not used as a platform for those seeking to block a deal.”

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