Let me start by saying how heartbreaking it is to see Iran in the midst of its second wave of coronavirus infections. For the Iranian people to fight against the pandemic, as well as coping with such an oppressive regime, is an incredible burden to bear. Senate Resolution 539, which I introduced with Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Tim Kaine, and Jacky Rose, expresses support for the right of the Iranian people to self-determination and condemns the regime for its violent suppression of free expression and shooting down of Ukraine International Airline flight 752. The loss of life was devastating, and shows the lengths to which the regime goes to silence opponents, both domestically and abroad.
Our resolution supports the right of all Iranians, wherever they are in the world, to peacefully assemble and protest the Iranian government without fear of violence or reprisal. It also calls on the administration to do everything possible to ensure free and uninterrupted access to the internet for the Iranian people.
Finally, the resolution urges the U.S. President and Secretary of State to work with the international community to ensure that members of the Iranian regime be held accountable for their violations of human rights. By shackling free speech and stifling dissent, the Ayatollah not only directly oppresses his opponents, but he seeks to weaken the morale of the Iranian people.
Our message is simple: the world’s most powerful democracy condemns the suppression of human rights and free expression everywhere in the world and that we stand with the people of Iran.
The fight is not over, the Iranian people are resilient and continuing to wage a heroic uprising against the regime’s corruption and brutality.
A brighter future is within reach in Iran. I will keep working to ensure that the United States, in cooperation with the entire international community, helps you get there.
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