Urging the Biden administration to drop negotiations with the “brutal regime” of Iran, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), who is leading a bipartisan resolution in support of Iranian demonstrators, called to condemn the Islamic republic for its “gross human rights abuses” against protesters who are “bravely speaking out and standing up to this terrorist regime after being brutally silenced for two generations” in a floor speech on Wednesday.
Tenney, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and outspoken voice in Congress for Iranians fighting for freedom from the repressive Islamic republic, is leading a resolution that overwhelmingly passed the House on Wednesday. The resolution commends the bravery, courage, and resolve of the Iranians who are demonstrating against the Islamic regime’s human rights abuses in protests that continue to sweep Iran following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
While in the custody of the Islamic theocracy’s notorious “morality police” for violating strict requirements for women to keep their heads covered in public, Amini was reportedly abducted and killed for having exposed some hair from beneath her mandatory Islamic headscarf.
Since then, a slew of incidents involving abuses and even deaths at the hands of the regime have been documented amid an ongoing clampdown on protests, with clips circulating showing Iranian regime officers brutally assaulting protesters.
Tenney referred to the demonstrations as “the most significant popular protest against the brutal regime’s authoritarian rule since it came to power in 1979,” though its response has been “vicious, violent and vindictive, not surprisingly.”
While the Islamic Republic has “unjustly executed Iranian protesters in sham trials that lack any modicum of due process,” the congresswoman commended the “brave Iranian people [who] are not backing down.”
“In fact, they are more resolved than ever,” she said. “They’re demanding a government that respects their rights at home, stops funding terrorism abroad, and makes peace with its neighbors.”
This shocking video sent from Tehran today is another horrific reminder that the cruelty of Iran's security forces knows no bounds. Amid a crisis of impunity, they're given free rein to brutally beat & shoot protesters. @UN_HRC must urgently investigate these crimes.#مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/IYQNewPslf
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) November 1, 2022
“They are demanding a future built on freedom, justice, the rule of law, and a chance at prosperity,” she added.
Her resolution, which was originally introduced in the last Congress and revived this month, “reaffirms our resounding support for the brave Iranians who continue to put their lives on the line to secure their fundamental rights and freedoms,” she explained.
It also urges the Biden administration to “do more.”
“Instead of negotiating with this brutal regime at a moment of weakness and true vulnerability, the Biden administration must meet the moment and do everything in its power to stand with the Iranian people,” she said.
Calling on the president to “sanction those responsible for these brutal killings,” Tenney said we have the “power to give the Iranian people the voice they need to tell the truth about their oppression at the hands of the Ayatollah and we must exercise it.”
She also demanded that the Biden administration “lead the effort to press our allies and partners around the world to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.”
“The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps uses terror to silence Iranian citizens at home and targets innocent citizens abroad,” she said, adding the “IRGC’s reign of terror must come to an end.”
According to Tenney, the resolution clarifies that the American people “are on the side of the courageous Iranian people.”
She also called for the release of all Americans currently being held in Iran.
“These innocent American citizens have endured years of false allegations, wretched conditions, and separation from their loved ones, simply because they’re Americans,” she said. “They must all be released.”
“No American can be left behind,” she added.
The resolution, which she introduced alongside Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), was cosponsored by over 60 members of Congress, including Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mike Waltz (R-FL), and Greg Murphy (R-NC), among others.
On Friday, Reps. Tenney and Gottheimer, along with House leaders, will be hosting a press conference at the House Triangle of the U.S. Capitol surrounding the legislation.
They will be joined by Iranian-British actress and human rights activist Nazanin Boniadi in a discussion on the regime’s human rights abuses.
In October, representatives of Iran’s parliament in exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) claimed Iran — the largest state sponsor of terrorism worldwide — is currently witnessing a revolution “in the making,” with the Islamic Republic no longer capable of containing the current uprising.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.