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‘Putting Their Lives on the Line for Freedom’


A joint congressional House caucus hearing voiced support for the Iranian peoples’ uprising, following a wave of recent executions by the Islamic regime in an attempt to contain unrest in the country.

Two pivotal bipartisan U.S. House Caucuses, the Iranian Women Congressional Caucus led by Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Nancy Mace (R-SC), alongside the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus under the helm of Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) convened a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday to deliberate on the ongoing eight-month-long uprising, the regime’s harsh suppression, future prospects, and the appropriate U.S. policy.

The event, the first assembly in support of Iran’s uprising and the human rights of the Iranian people, was attended by prominent members of the House.

Addressing the hearing, Iranian opposition MEK (Mujahadin-e Khalq) political leader and President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Maryam Rajavi said the current uprising has “changed Iran’s political scene.” 

“This uprising did not happen overnight and the leading role of women did not happen by accident,” she stated.

Rajavi also expressed her belief that the Iranian people are “capable of overthrowing this regime,” adding that “the most important principle we believe in is freedom.”

Mace, cochair of the Iranian Women Congressional Caucus, offered an “unwavering commitment to advocating for freedom and the rights of women worldwide,” something she argued could “transcend party lines.”

She also acknowledged the “bravery” of the Iranian people who have been “protesting for their fundamental rights and freedoms, literally putting their lives on the line for freedom.”

Mace urged colleagues on both sides of the aisle to “join hands” and “rise above partisan politics” in order to “advocate for the rights of Iranian women and women all over the world.”

Republican Congressman Tom McClintock (CA), co-chair Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus, called to “materially assist” the people of Iran: 

It is well past time for this Administration to take into consideration Secretary Pompeo’s recommendation and provide political and material support for Iranian opposition movements and their vision of a free, secular, and democratic Iran. For national security, the peace and stability in the region, and above all, the Iranian people’s right to freedom and democracy, demand that the U.S. Congress stand behind the opposition and that the administration speak out and act in their support. This time, in this hour, let the United States take its stand with the people of Iran.

Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) lauded Rajavi’s work, calling her efforts “vital.”

“Thomas Jefferson once said that the blood of tyrants and patriots often refreshes the Tree of Liberty, and that was in their fight for the United States’ independence from Britain,” he said. “Madam Rajavi has taken it upon herself to represent the fight for freedom and liberty, not just for the girls and the women, which is extremely important for all Iranians.”

GOP Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas stated he stood fully behind Rajavi. 

“We firmly believe in your mission and what you’re trying to accomplish,” he told her, adding that her 10-point plan is something “all Americans would be behind if they truly understood it and took the time to read it.”

Rajavi’s “Ten Point Plan” aims to ensure Iranians’ freedom of expression and assembly — as well as the right to choose their elected leaders — as part of the path toward a free, secular, and democratic Iran.

The matter comes as protests 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.

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.

On Friday, Iran executed three men convicted of killing security force members during protests triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death last year, the judiciary said, drawing condemnation from rights groups.

In March, a bipartisan House majority endorsed a resolution expressing Congress’s support for a democratic Republic of Iran while calling for a new Iran policy in light of continued protests by the Iranian people and increasing repression by the “theocratic thugs who have oppressed them for far too long.”

The resolution, sponsored by 223 U.S. House members, supports Iran’s uprisings for a secular republic. It notes that Iranian opposition MEK (Mujahadin-e Khalq) political leader and President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Maryam Rajavi’s “Ten Point Plan” to ensure Iranians’ freedom of expression and assembly — as well as the right to choose their elected leaders — is the “path toward a free, secular, Democratic and non-nuclear Iran.”

Representatives of Iran’s parliament in exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have 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.

Previously, Pence accused the Biden administration of threatening to “unravel all the progress” the Trump administration made in marginalizing the Iranian regime.

He has also expressed undying support for Iranian resistance while blasting the Biden team’s new concessions to the “tyrants” in Tehran, its “virtual abandonment of our ally Israel,” and the “disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” which have emboldened the “adversaries of freedom” that now sense “weakness” in the American administration.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.





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