WASHINGTON: A majority of members of the US House of Representatives have declared their support for a bipartisan resolution calling for a nuclear-free Iran and regime change in the country.
The Organization of Iranian-American Communities, a group opposed to the regime in Tehran, hosted a meeting in the Capitol to announce that 222 members of the 435-member House now back the resolution, which was introduced on Feb. 7. It supports the establishment of a secular Iranian republic and condemns human rights violations by the Iranian government.
Several of the Republican and Democrat co-sponsors of the resolution spoke during the event on Thursday of their support for the Iranian people and their desire for a democratic government to replace the theocratic Iranian regime.
House Resolution 100 is titled “Expressing support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran, and condemning violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government.”
It has no legal authority and so is more of a symbolic show support for the Iranian people and opposition to the actions of the regime. It condemns violations of human rights by the regime during the ongoing protests that began in September last year following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Iranian woman suffered a serious head injury after she was arrested by the morality police in Tehran, who accused her of failing to properly follow rules governing head coverings.
“(The House 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 states.
It also calls for administration of President Joe Biden to work with the UN and international human rights organizations in their efforts to hold the regime in Tehran accountable for its human rights violations.
Republican representatives Pete Sessions and Randy Weber, both from Texas, reiterated their support for the Iranian people and the calls for regime change and a nuclear-free Iran.
Weber said that Iran “cannot have nuclear weapons” and expressed his support for the use of military force to achieve this goal.
“The Iranian regime must be taken out. No more evil tyrants, whether it’s the shah or the leader,” he added, referring to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the country’s former ruler, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Democratic representatives Deborah Ross and Sheila Jackson Lee delivered an impassioned speech in defense of the rights of Iranian women, noting that the world this week celebrated International Women’s Day.
Ross, from North Carolina, told the Iranian American leaders and activists, and their supporters, who had gathered: “We are with you.”
Lee, from Texas, praised Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, describing her as a “freedom fighter.” She also applauded Iranian-American communities in the US for their efforts to support change in Iran.
“Yes to nuclear-free Iran,” she said, adding that as a student of the late American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, she believes in a process of nonviolent, peaceful protest and hopes that change in Iran can be brought about through peaceful means without loss of life.
The resolution has yet to face a formal vote in Congress but as it now has an absolute majority of support, it is expected to pass easily.