WASHINGTON, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Spokesperson for the Beirut Families, Ms. Lynn Smith Derbyshire today made the following statement:
"The survivors and families of those killed in the 1983 Beirut bombing express our gratitude to Members of Congress for backing our efforts to punish Iran for sponsoring terrorism, and we urge them to pass S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 to ensure justice is finally realized.
"Our families and survivors urge the full Senate to follow the leadership of Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirk (R-IL) and the unanimous, bipartisan support of S. 2101, the Iran Sanctions Act, by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. We encourage them to bring the bill to the floor and pass it quickly. By doing so, the Senate will communicate forcefully to Iran that it can no longer fraudulently invest in the United States financial system.
"We also implore Members of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 4070, sponsored by Rep. Robert Turner (R-NY), and support this crucial legislation through the committees considering it, and ultimately in a floor vote.
"We ask the Senate and House Conferees to ensure these two bills are merged— without any alterations that may help Iran—into bipartisan legislation which will protect Americans from terrorism. This bill will stop Iran from using shell games to hide the
investment of its funds in the US financial system to further fund terrorism, avoid its legal responsibilities, and pay for its programs of regional dominance.
"Finally, we appeal to President Obama and his Administration to support our group of 1300 American families from across our nation by enhancing our Country's ability to hold Iran responsible for its actions. If Iran truly wants to be a responsible member of the international community, it needs to meet its legal and moral obligations.
"We have met with dozens of Members of Congress and they have been supportive, almost without exception. However, some
powerful interests in Washington remain opposed to us, because they benefit from the status quo, which allows Iran to employ fraud and invest its assets in the United States to fund terrorism and its nuclear weapons program. They contend that S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 will disrupt the United States financial system. This is not the case. These bills merely clarify existing laws governing American banks that are holding Iranian assets. S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 provide clarification of current law governing penalties on state sponsors of terrorism with respect to intermediated securities and bonds.
"Our group of survivors, parents, spouses, siblings and children has worked for almost 30 years to attain justice against Iran, which murdered my brother, Marine Captain Vincent Smith, and 240 other brave American servicemen in Beirut in 1983 and injured hundreds more. Similarly, victims and families of those killed in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia also deserve justice.
"Our government has an opportunity to do what is right. Passing this legislation brings accountability to a murderous regime. 1300 American families urge the entire Congress and the President to stand its ground against Iran and hold this rogue nation responsible for its pre-meditated murderous rampage against our nation by making sure that the provisions in S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 become the law of the land.
"Anything less is unacceptable. We need to send a clear signal to Iran that it cannot continue its national policy of terrorism and murder. The survivors and families of those slaughtered in the Iranian-sponsored 1983 Beirut Bombing believe that Americans everywhere would agree."
This release is distributed by Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction of Tom Fay and Steve Perles, Legal Counsel.
SOURCE Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction of Tom Fay and Steve Perles, Legal Counsel