US Senate conference on human rights in Iran held by OIAC
The Organization of Iranian American Communities , OIAC, held a conference on human rights in Iran in the US Senate to mark the Iranian New Year (Nowruz). The conference focused heavily on the coronavirus, which has now killed over 3,600 people in all of Iran’s provinces, and the regime’s inability to solve the crisis.
Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, who moderated the event, began by talking about the Iranian people’s national boycott of the recent rigged parliamentary elections.
He said: “The Iranian people are willing to defy the regime and take brave and courageous steps to build a real democracy, one that represents their interests and respects their dignity. The only conclusion I can draw is that this sham election, without even the pretence of fairness, is a sign of the regime’s weakness, not its strength.”
He said that the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi are the “viable democratic alternative” to the regime.
Mrs. Rajavi sent a video message to the conference and condemned the regime’s secrecy over the coronavirus, which was designed to make the mullahs look strong and stable.
She said: “The consequences are not limited only to Iran. They have caused the spread of the virus to several countries.”
Rajavi advised that the Iranian people correctly blame the regime for this situation and the rest of their woes, as shown in the November 2019 uprising. She said the mullahs’ secrecy is because they know the regime is on the verge of overthrow.
Change in #Iran is within reach for a number of reasons: #Covid_19 #CoronaOutbreak #Coronavirushttps://t.co/ObCjgs6n1C pic.twitter.com/zMRXUvu3vL— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) March 12, 2020
She said: “The policy of appeasement, which helped the regime to prolong its repressive rule, has failed. Let it be clear, the Iranian people and their organized resistance will overthrow the regime.”
Former senator Joe Lieberman advised that the regime helped spread coronavirus by continuing flights to China and that Ghassem Soleimani, the Quds Force commander who was killed in a US drone strike in January, “got what he deserved” after killing more than 600 US soldiers and thousands of civilians in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen said: “We need to take a stand with the Iranian people. The future of Iran belongs to the Iranian people.”
While Texas Senator Ted Cruz also sent a message to the conference held by OIAC, in which he implored that the regime’s officials be held to account for their crimes against humanity. He said that the world should be increasing pressure on the mullahs to release political prisoners and ensuring free internet access for Iranians.
He said: “I can proudly say that America stands with the men and women of Iran in their fight against these cruel, oppressive, murderous tyrants. In the Senate, I have been a strong advocate for applying a maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime, to hold them accountable for their human rights abuses and once and for all end their reign of terror. I believe the threat of a nuclear Iran is the single greatest national security threat facing the United States and we must do everything possible to eliminate that threat.”
Senator Ben Cardin told the conference held by OIAC: “Our policy is to penalize this regime on behalf of the Iranian people. This is a nonpartisan effort. As Martin Luther King has said we are here for human rights of all people around the world”
We are very proud to have @SenatorCardin at our briefing speaking on protection of human rights. Persian people are so committed to human rights in the world. And this regime does not represent the people says senator. @USAdarFarsi— IAC Maryland (@IAC_MD) March 12, 2020
@StateDept @SecPompeo @VOAIran @SenateDems pic.twitter.com/PRHIXFBEnW
Senator Gary Peters said: “I thank [the OIAC] for what you have been doing to inform and keep us at Senate up to date about the reality in Iran from Human Rights to Nuclear activities to terrorist activities. [Their] work is bipartisan.”
I thank your organization for what you have been doing to inform and keep us at Senate up to date about the reality in Iran from Human Rights to Nuclear activities to terrorist activities. Your work is bipartisan says @SenGaryPeters @VOAIran @StateDept @USAdarFarsi @IranIntl pic.twitter.com/k63haYRRAh— IAC Maryland (@IAC_MD) March 12, 2020