Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council welcomes President Obama’s condemnation of human rights abuses by the Iranian government and its use of violence against peaceful protesters.
“I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost,” President Barack Obama said today.
According to Trita Parsi, President of NIAC, “condemning violence is different from taking sides in Iran’s election dispute. People in Iran have told NIAC’s Iranian-American membership that they don’t want the US to get itself involved in the conflict, but they do want to see the government’s use of violence condemned.”
Calls by Republican lawmakers to explicitly side with a specific candidate or movement in Iran can be extremely harmful to that candidate or movement. “If our intention is to help, we have to first listen to the people in Iran rather than to pretend to speak for them without ever having had consulted with them,” Parsi added.
Yesterday, Parsi published an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor pointing out that the Obama administration’s new posture towards Iran has enabled internal Iranian dynamics to bring about the current stand-off. “If America’s posture returns to that of the Bush administration, these indigenous forces for change may be quelled by the forces of fear and ultranationalism,” he wrote.
The National Iranian American Council has strongly condemned the government of Iran’s escalating violence against demonstrators and demanded that the government cease using lethal force against unarmed protesters and bystanders.
The only plausible way to end the violence is for new elections to be held with independent monitors ensuring its fairness.