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Announcement Of Legislation To Pave The Way For Freedom And Democracy In Iran
Today, Sam Brownback, R-Kansas and I announced the introduction of legislation to support efforts by Iranian opposition groups to remove the abusive and destabilizing government regime in Tehran, which is headed by Supreme Leader Ali Hoseyni Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The bill would establish a program of direct assistance for the Iranian people and would help pave the way for a freely elected, open and democratic government in Iran. The Iran Democratic Transition Act would not only send a strong message of support to the Iranian people during this difficult time, it would also provide tangible resources needed to establish a democratic system in Iran in the near future.
On the anniversary of the Iranian revolution, throngs of brave Iranians are taking to the streets, risking their lives to protest the radical, totalitarian regime ruling their nation. The people of Iran are clearly hungry for freedom, and America has a duty to stand behind them and support their cause. Their cause is just, and this is the right thing to do. This legislation will send a clear signal to the Iranian people that we support their efforts to end the current tyrannical regime, which fails to represent their ideals and democratic aspirations.
For too long, the voices of forward-looking, freedom-loving Iranians have been muted through the regime’s violence and intimidation. President Ahmadinejad, with the full support of the Supreme Leader, has made clear what he stands for. This regime’s human rights abuses, relentless quest for nuclear weapons, and support for terrorism – including against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – must not be tolerated any longer. It continues to destabilize the Middle East and threaten international peace.
Never has the cause of freedom in Iran been more urgent. In a free and democratic Iran, national leaders would never do what Ahmadinejad did today: celebrate the enrichment of uranium in defiance of the entire international community. I urge Majority Leader Reid and my other colleagues to quickly take up this legislation to help the Iranian people pave the way for freedom and democracy in Iran.