Iranian-American Community Leaders Praise Congress For Passing Iran Sanctions Measure

Aug 08, 2012, 23:45 ET from California Society for Democracy in Iran

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders of Iranian-American communities in the U.S., representing 40 states across the country, are praising Congress for passage of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012, a measure that underscores Congress' desire to prevent Iran's ruling theocracy from obtaining nuclear weapons.

In a letter to the Senate Majority and Minority leaders, Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the House Speaker and Democratic Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the community leaders wrote, "We are particularly grateful to your efforts – and those of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson to craft the strongest sanctions measure to date."

"At a time when the leaders of democracies the world over are increasingly concerned about Iran's efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction, this important statement of principle from the U.S. Congress adds another vital voice to the chorus of those working to thwart Tehran's attempts to gain nuclear weapons," said Nasser Sharif, President of California Society for Democracy in Iran. "We speak for literally tens of thousands of Iranian-Americans and supporters of freedom and democracy in Iran when we offer thanks for passage of this important resolution."

The measure, approved by a 421-6 vote in the House of Representatives and by unanimous consent in the Senate, also includes significant provisions intended to demonstrate the U.S. Congress' resolve that Iran must cease ongoing efforts to silence the Iranian dissidents and its repressive efforts to thwart political change.

This resolution makes clear that the U.S. government, and the international community, must address Iran's repression of opposition groups, political parties, a free press, and religious minorities.  The Act makes a strong statement that the United States will not turn its back on the people of Iran.

"At a time when the world is rightly concerned about Iran's illegal and illegitimate pursuit of nuclear weapons, it is also important to recognize that the totalitarian government in Tehran is also brutally suppressing the rights and freedoms of the Iranian people," Mr. Sharif said. "While we work to prevent the mullahs from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, we must also continue to advocate for the rights of those who are oppressed."

SOURCE California Society for Democracy in Iran