A large group of US Congresspeople have expressed support for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear “Republic of Iran,” in a draft resolution that comes after five months of antigovernment protests.

Condemning violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government, the bipartisan group of Representatives submitted a resolution on Tuesday, which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The motion was introduced by California's Republican lawmaker Tom McClintock and is cosponsored by 165 other representatives. 

The resolution “calls on relevant United States Government agencies to work with European allies, including those in the Balkans where Iran has expanded its presence, to hold Iran accountable for breaching diplomatic privileges, and to call on nations to prevent the malign activities of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic missions, with the goal of closing them down and expelling its agents." 

It also emphasizes that Washington “stands with the people of Iran who are legitimately defending their rights for freedom against repression, and condemns the brutal killing of Iranian protesters by the Iranian regime; and recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.”

The resolution mentions the popular antigovernment protests in 2017, which resulted in at least 25 deaths and 4,000 arrests, and the protests in November 2019, when about 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest, as well as the current wave of protests ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested in mid-September 2022 by the morality police that enforce the regime’s mandatory dress code laws. 

Noting that women and youth have led the 2022 protests in Iran to demand social freedom and political change, the resolution describes the uprising as “rooted in the more than four decades of organized resistance against the Iranian dictatorship.” The ongoing unrest have been most recently led by women who have endured torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and death. 

It also mentions executions and death sentences in recent months and calls for measures to force the government to cease such repression.

In the 116th Congress, the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 752, "Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes,” it adds, urging the Administration to work to convene emergency sessions of the United Nations Security Council and to work with United States partners and allies to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime and establish a mechanism by which the United Nations Security Council can monitor such violations. 

Iranian protests

The resolution also mentions efforts by the international community against the crackdown on dissent in Iran, saying that on November 24, 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council established a fact-finding mission to conduct an independent investigation into the ongoing deadly violence related to the protests in Iran that began on September 16, 2022. It also mentioned the resolution adopted by United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on December 14, 2022, to expel Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for the remainder of its 4-year term ending in 2026. 

Enumerating other actions by the US against the human rights violations by the clerical regime, the House resolution referred to the Department of State’s 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, released on April 13, 2022, which cites that “Iran’s government and its agents reportedly committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, most commonly executions for crimes not meeting the international legal standard of ‘most serious crimes’ or for crimes committed by juvenile offenders, as well as executions after trials without due process.”

“On October 25, 2021, the United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javaid Rehman, told the United Nations General Assembly that almost all executions in the country constituted an arbitrary deprivation of life, noting the extensive, vague and arbitrary grounds in Iran for imposing the death sentence, which quickly can turn this punishment into a political tool,” read the resolution. 

The resolution also condemns the Iranian regime’s arbitrary and brutal suppression of “ethnic and religious minorities, including Iranian Kurds, Baluchis, Arabs, Christians, Jews, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, and even Sunni Muslims,” noting that it deprived them of their basic human rights, and has in many cases executed them. 

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