March, 9, 2023—Washington, DC: US House of Representatives members from both parties introduced a resolution calling for a new approach to Iran policy. As of the first 50 days of the 118th Congress, a majority of the House has already supported the resolution, which is sponsored by key members of several committees, including Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, Homeland Security, Appropriations, and Intelligence.
Despite protests by the Iranian people and increased repression by the regime, the announcement comes amid continued protests. Furthermore, it coincides with alarming concerns regarding ongoing chemical attacks against schoolgirls across Iran on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
An excerpt of the remarks of the representatives participating in this meeting is as follows:
Representative Tom McClintock (R-CA)
I’m very pleased to announce that House Resolution 100, which expresses Congress’s support for the right of the Iranian people to a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Republic of Iran, is now co-sponsored by an absolute majority of the House of Representatives. 222 members of the 435-member House, Republican, and Democrat alike, now stand side by side with the people of Iran who struggle to rid themselves of the theocratic thugs who have oppressed them for far too long.
The Iranian people have had enough of the human rights abuses, the utter incompetence of the mullahs and the thuggery of their Iranian Guards. Increasingly, the women of Iran, whose rightful aspirations have been suppressed by the government, and the young people, whose futures have been stolen by that government, have stepped forward to lead the protests occurring regularly throughout the land.
And their messages are clear: We’ve had enough, and we will take no more. We don’t have to live under the thumb of dictators but can instead take our rightful place among the free people of the world and enjoy the human rights, human dignity, human liberties, and prosperity that is the hallmark of free societies.
These new leaders have endured torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and even death to secure their liberty, and their heroism and determination has captured the attention of the world and with it now the support of the majority of the elected representatives of the American people.
Once the dictators of Iran are thrown from power and justice for their crimes has been served, it will be up to the Iranian people to chart their future course. But that won’t be hard. The principles of the ten-point plan:
— The universal right to vote in free and fair elections.
— The right of every person to participate in a free market and to enjoy the prosperity that freedom guarantees.
— The right to be judged on their own merits regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity.
— The right to return to the community of free and respected nations based on peaceful coexistence.
This is the future of Iran. Its course is already charted. The journey has already begun, and indeed, its shining destination can already be seen taking shape in the distance.
Representative Deborah Ross (D-NC)
I am a proud co-sponsor of this resolution. I’m also particularly happy to be with you so close to International Women’s Day. The women of Iran are a beacon and an inspiration to the world.
What Iranian women need is to feel safe and free in their own country as well. I am with you in solidarity and for the entire fight with my colleagues here in Congress.
Representative Pete Sessions (R-AL)
The United States of America and the world learned a lot about Iran back in 1979. But the Revolutionary Guards took this country on a path of terrorism and repression. They’re one of killing their own people, and any group of people that would kill their own people is a threat to the world.
The internal struggle that is taking place inside Iran is very important. If we work together, we will succeed.
Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC)
This morning you’re seeing us up here in a bipartisan way, our country, standing with those in Iran who want those same freedoms, who want those same liberties, who want the same kind of democracy. And we support a democratic process in Iran. We support your freedom. We support your fight. You’ve literally risked your lives for this freedom. And we stand with you.
Representative Randy Webber (R-TX)
This regime is so brutal to its own citizens, and I can’t even remember all the numbers of people that have disappeared that have been killed in prison. It’s unbelievable and mind-boggling. It’s time for us to get involved. I’m so glad that the United States Congress stepped up and said, we’re behind you all the way. This has got to stop.
We’re so thankful for Maryam Rajavi, what she’s doing, and how you have all been following her and supporting her, and actually coming out in the open. America is standing for a free Iran that’s nuclear-free, that’s democratic. That, by the way, could be governed by the first female president and Iran’s history.
No more evil tyrants. Not in Iran. They’ve got to go. This is evident in the revolution. This is the day. This is the cause. The United States is with you. The world is watching. We are all with you. It’s evident in the slogan “Death to the dictator, be it the Shah or the leader!”
Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA)
It is an important time in Iran as people from one end of the country to the other rise to demand their rights and demand a peaceful and democratic republic of Iran.
Some of you have been working for a democratic Iran since the 1970s. We have seen, however, women take the lead, and this is an appropriate day to recognize their role.
We have a resolution that I’m told now has 223 co-sponsors. That’s a majority of the House.
The resolution recognizes Maryam Rajavi as one of the women who has been a leader in fighting for democracy in Iran. And it commemorates a whole new generation of women who are fighting the regime that has continued its violent attacks against protesters and anyone who dares to dissent, including the horrific killing of over 500 innocent protesters, many of whom were teenagers and even children.
Tens of thousands have been arrested and some sentenced to death. The regime’s legacy of murdering dissidents is nothing new. It has been used as a tactic for decades to stifle the Iranian people’s fight for freedom. This, of course, includes the brutal murders of thousands of dissidents during the 1988 massacre, perpetrated by regime officials now in, including President Raisi. It lashes out with violence because it doesn’t have an argument and doesn’t have a basis to acquire the people’s support.
Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
My colleagues, and my friends, are on both sides of the aisle because we know what this is all about. That we will never give up on Iranian freedom. We will never stop. We will always fight.
We will fight until Iran is free and free for everyone, for the women of Iran, for the children of Iran, and for the men and families of Iran.
This is the week that we honor women on International. Women’s Day. But when I speak of women, I speak of humanitarians, I speak of freedom fighters, I speak of those who are unceasing. In their belief in a free Iran, I speak of those who love children and nurture them. And give them their day in the sun. And then I speak of Madam, the president, the freedom fighter. And today we honor you, Madam Rajavi.
Long before anyone would listen, I’m very grateful that her plan calls for the universal right to vote, free elections, and a market economy, and advocates gender, religious, and ethnic equality. She calls for the abolition of the Sharia law and the death penalty. She calls for a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence and a non-nuclear republic of Iran, based on the separation of religion and state. Who can reject that?
To the souls in Iran, we honor you. If young women are hearing me, if young men are hearing me, families and children, look at the array of outstanding Iranian Americans, the Iranian Diaspora. They are with you. You are not alone. They’re in this room. They’re in the capital of the United States. They are welcome here. They’re petitioning their government. They’re being heard. And you should take comfort.
Representative Don Bacon (R-NE)
I stand with the Iranian people. They and we want freedom, democracy, human rights, all the things that Madam Rajavi said. Those are the principles that America stands by, and it’s our hope that one day the Iranian people will also have that. We hope someday that you have a People’s House in Tehran.
Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
I was happy to lend my support to be a co-sponsor of House Resolution 100 and simply expressing that the United States Congress goes on record saying that we support the people’s desire to be free in Iran, and not only to be free, but to be democratic, secular, non-nuclear, and to allow people of all faiths to practice their religion and faith as they see fit, and to make sure that they have the freedoms that that we can enjoy and take for granted so much in this country.
I know that Albania has been a great friend to those that want to see a new Iran. So, I just want to say thank you to the Albanian Government for their support, and want to do everything I can to encourage them to support a free Iran.
Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI)
I’m also a cosponsor of House Resolution 100 and I hope one more time in the near future we see Persia be what Persia has been in the past, a modern state dedicated to the improvement of its citizens in which they are not able to use the absolute power of the state to crack down on people who have different views than a small segment which is using that state just to promote themselves for their own personal gain.
We are very supportive of the people in Persia who want a free country and republic built on a constitution that guarantees freedoms.
Representative Raul Ruis (D-CA)
It is very appalling and heartbreaking to hear the stories of young girls who have been poisoned in schools and public places. It is clearly evident that young girls are leading this movement in Iran, speaking up and demanding recognition, demanding their rights as people and humans.
And it is clear that this poisoning is a signal that they’re sending to the rest of the Iranian people a message that if you speak up, we will come after you in the most horrible of ways.
But I do believe that there is resilience, grit, and determination. There is hope because of one thing that moves the human spirit and the human soul, regardless of which country you’re from: it’s freedom.
Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC)
The people of Iran are standing up and you need to be understanding, too, that this is really part of a worldwide situation. It’s a conflict and competition between democracies, a rule of law, being opposed by authoritarians with the rule of guns. The people of the world, I believe, are going to choose the democratic path.
You’re standing for freedom. You’re standing for the opportunity and particularly for the young people of Iran. They need to have a positive future and you’re making a difference.