A resolution currently sitting in the House of Representatives calls for US policy on Iran to be more assertive and for the Iranian regime to be held accountable for the oppression of protesters and the people at large.
H. Res. 118, which has gathered 225 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, cites two previous resolutions that had largely the same goals, with H. Res. 4744 calling for the US to “condemn Iranian human rights abuses against dissidents, including the massacre in 1988 and the suppression of political demonstrations in 1999, 2009, and 2017”. The new bill goes further than that by including the crackdown on the November 2019 uprising, which was around twice as big as its 2017 predecessor, where around 1,500 were shot dead by the security forces and many thousands more are still under torture in prison, according to Amnesty International.
And it’s hard to see why the US hasn’t already done this. Their commitment to human rights would surely ring hollow if they failed to comment on these abuses, but that’s the case. In fact, most of the West ignored the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, which is considered one of the world’s worst crimes against humanity. This has emboldened the regime’s human right abuses against its own people.
H. Res. 118 uses part of its text to talk about domestic human rights abuses and terrorism levied by the regime to keep a hold on power.
One of the most recent terrorist incidents – the planned bombing of a Free Iran rally in France at which hundreds of international dignitaries were present – led to the conviction of an Iranian diplomat and three others on charges of terrorism this year. Assadollah Assadi, then the diplomat to Vienna, smuggled the bomb in and handed it off to his accomplices, which is how he wound up with a 20-year prison sentence, but H. Res. 118 points out that “the four defendants are part of a larger terrorist group within a specific Iranian intelligence service”.
The resolution praised Albania for expelling Iranian diplomats after a similar terrorist plot was uncovered months before the France one, advising that increased pressure on the regime might involve the shuttering of Iranian embassies across the world.
The Iranian Resistance wrote: “The resolution’s message to the Western policymakers is that they should not be fixated on salvaging the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. As important as Iran’s nuclear file is, it should not overshadow other matters that feature more immediate threats to both Iranian and Western lives.”