A bipartisan resolution co-signed by 113 members of the United States House of Representative, calling for a democratic, non-nuclear, and secular Iran, and condemning the regime’s state-sponsored terrorism, was announced on Thursday.
H. Res. 118 comes only a week after a court in Belgium condemned the Iranian regime’s incarcerated diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi, to 20 years in prison for his attempt to bomb the annual ‘Free Iran’ gathering held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris, in 2018.
This Resolution is co-sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA). Congressmen McClintock and Sherman notified President Biden and his administration of this resolution in a letter on Thursday. They underlined that the U.S. “must remain firm in holding the Iranian government accountable for its nuclear and other destabilizing activities in the region, such as, its support for terrorism, development of ballistic missiles, and human rights violations.”
“With the introduction of this resolution, a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress encourages all efforts to recognize the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republican of Iran while holding the ruling regime accountable for its destructive behavior,” read the letter in part.
This bipartisan resolution as a whole is clear and unequivocal support for the establishment of a democratic, secular, non-nuclear and republican Iran, on the one hand, and condemning the regime’s human rights abuses and state terrorism on the other. A quick glance at some of the H. Res. 118 provisions further confirms this message:
- “Whereas beginning in 2017 and continuing for several months after protests erupted in more than 100 cities, the Iranian regime suppressed such protests with repressive forces that resulted in at least 25 deaths and 4,000 arrests, including decorated wrestling champion Navid Afkari, who was later executed in September 2020 amidst international outrage.
- Whereas, on November 15, 2019, popular protests against the Iranian regime began and rapidly spread to at least 100 cities throughout the country, and reports indicate that Iranian security forces used lethal force and about 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest, and thousands more were detained during these protests.
- Whereas, from January 11 to 13, 2020, protesters gathered across Iran chanting against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after it shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane killing 176 civilians, and Iranian authorities deployed tear gas and live ammunition against the protesters.
- Whereas according to a September 2, 2020, Amnesty International report, detained protesters were subjected to ‘widespread torture including beatings, floggings, electric shocks, stress positions, mock executions, waterboarding, sexual violence, forced administration of chemical substances, and deprivation of medical care’;
- Whereas the killings were carried out on the orders of a judge, an official from the Ministry of Intelligence, and a state prosecutor, known to the prisoners as ‘Death Commissions’, which were formed on July 19, 1988, and undertook proceedings in a manner designed to eliminate the regime’s opponents.
- Whereas, on June 30, 2018, tens of thousands of people gathered in Paris at the Free Iran gathering where they supported advocates for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Republic of Iran, and showed support for the opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for the future of Iran, which calls for the universal right to vote, free elections, and a market economy, and advocates gender, religious, and ethnic equality, a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence, and a nonnuclear Iran;
- Whereas, on July 2, 2018, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced it had foiled a terrorist plot against the ‘Free Iran 2018–the Alternative’ gathering held on June 30, 2018, in support of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom.
- Whereas several prominent bipartisan former United States Government officials, several retired United States generals, congressional staff, and thousands of American citizens participated in that gathering.
- Whereas Assadollah Assadi, a senior Iranian diplomat based in the Iranian Embassy in Vienna, Austria, was arrested in Germany in connection with the planned terror plot in Paris.
- Whereas the Iranian diplomat has been charged in Belgium in connection with the Paris terror plot and in Germany with ‘activity as a foreign agent and conspiracy to commit murder’;
- Whereas, on February 4, 2021, a court in Belgium sentenced Iran’s diplomat Assadollah Assadi to the maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment for his role in planning to plant a bomb at the Free Iran gathering in 2018, and his 3 accomplices were given jail terms of 15 to 18 years and stripped of their Belgian citizenship.
- Whereas, in December 2018, the Government of Albania expelled Iran’s Ambassador, Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, and MOIS station chief in Albania, Mostafa Roudaki, for planning terrorist activities against Iranian dissidents and members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK);
- Whereas, in January 2020, the Government of Albania expelled two other Iranian diplomats also for planning terrorist activities against the MEK.”
Thus, the resolution “condemns past and present Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks against United States citizens and officials, as well as Iranian dissidents, including the Iranian regime’s terror plot against the ‘Free Iran 2018–the Alternative’ gathering in Paris.”
It also “calls on relevant United States Government agencies to work with European allies, including those in the Balkans where Iran has expanded its presence, to hold Iran accountable for breaching diplomatic privileges, and to call on nations to prevent the malign activities of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic missions, with the goal of closing them down, including the Iranian Embassy in Albania”
The Resolution also “stands with the people of Iran who are continuing to hold legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive and corrupt regime; and recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.”
The full text of the resolution is below: