Sen. Cruz: The People of Iran Want Their Country Back
Introduces Bipartisan Resolution Condemning the Government of Iran for its Violence Against Demonstrators
Last week I introduced S. Res. 367, a bipartisan resolution condemning the government of Iran for its violence against demonstrators and calling for peaceful resolution to the concerns of the citizens of Iran. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and David Perdue (R-Ga.) cosponsored the resolution, and U.S. Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is spearheading the effort in the House of Representatives.
This is a pivotal moment for the future of Iran. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution, which affords an opportunity for the United States Senate to formally declare its support for the citizens of Iran in their pursuit for freedom against the repressive, tyrannical Iranian regime. The Iranians protesting in the streets and standing up to the brutal forces of the regime recognize their government has prioritized the export of terror throughout the Middle East over the welfare of its citizens. Chants of, "we don’t want an Islamic Republic," and "not Gaza, not Lebanon," reverberate throughout the nation. This organic uprising is nothing less than a vote of no confidence in the Islamic Republic, its leaders, and its foreign policy.
The Iranian people want their country back.
America is in a position to lead not only by vocally standing with the Iranian people, but also by taking swift, decisive action to re-impose sanctions targeting the regime. The mullahs have shut down social media throughout Iran, revealing their acute fear of the power of truth; the U.S. must ensure those who have facilitated the censorship of Iranian people, a sanctionable act under U.S. law, are held accountable.
The Trump Administration has rightfully withheld certification of Iran’s compliance to the nuclear deal, expressly stating that U.S. sanctions relief is not appropriate or proportional to the measures taken by Iran to terminate its nuclear weapons program. Yet, the U.S. has continued to grant relief from sanctions, the same relief that lines the coffers of the Ayatollah and is used by the Central Bank of Iran to sow domestic instability and subsidize terror. In the upcoming weeks, the Administration will issue a series of determinations on whether to continue waiving statutory sanctions. These decisions will have a direct impact on the people of Iran. If the U.S. continues to issue waivers, America runs the risk of bearing responsibility for Iran’s mayhem and malign activity carried out with the dollars we provide. It is my hope we stand shoulder to shoulder with the protestors and pursue a strategy to advance the will of the people.
The full text of the resolution can be found below and linked here.
Whereas on December 28, 2017, citizens began protesting the Government of Iran across the country in the cities and towns of Dorud, Khomaini Shahr, Najafabad, Qahdarijan, Tehran, and Tuyserkan;
Whereas so far 20 people have been killed and 450 have been arrested since demonstrations first began;
Whereas the United States is committed to promoting universal human rights, specifically freedom of speech and freedom of assembly;
Whereas the Government of Iran has provided monetary support to terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas; and
Whereas the citizens of Iran deserve the support of the international community in their pursuit of a democratic government that respects human rights and freedoms: Now, therefore be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) condemns the Government of Iran—
(A) for its funding of terrorist organizations and activities;
(B) the continued oppression of its citizens; and
(C) the suppression of communication through interference with internet applications such as Instagram, Facebook, Telegram and Twitter; and
(A) the commitment of the United States to preserving and promoting the freedoms of speech and assembly as universal rights; and
(B) the support of the United States for the citizens of Iran to establish a freely elected, democratic system.