As the United States and the international community meet Iran’s diplomats and hope for the nuclear crisis to be resolved, another critical front should be opened: an investigation into the Iranian regime for abuse of human rights of its own people.
I don’t understand how democracies stood by idly since last June as the Basij militia beat, tortured, and assassinated protesters. The U.S. administration claimed that its silence was meant to avoid being perceived as “meddling” in Iran’s internal affairs. But didn’t America and its allies “meddle” deeply in Yugoslavia, South Africa, and Haiti’s “internal affairs” when human rights were aggressed?
It seems that not siding with civil society in Iran as it is brutally oppressed by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei regime is more about a commitment to cutting a deal with the Pasdaran within what has been announced an “engagement” doctrine by the administration. We’ll revisit this labyrinth.
Luckily, many legislators in the free world do not agree on deal cutting with oppressive regimes. On Sept. 22, members of Congress, the European Parliament, and the Canadian Parliament signed a historic document condemning Iran’s continued human rights abuses.
“This is historic because it is the first document signed by a group of international lawmakers addressing the Iranian regime’s human rights atrocities against the Iranian people,” said Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., who is also the co-chair of the U.S. Bipartisan House Caucus on Counterterrorism. “We are keeping a close watch on the Iran nuclear weapons situation, but this will not cause us to forget the human rights atrocities committed by the Iranian regime. We say to the Iranian people who continue their fight for freedom, ‘We have not forgotten you. We stand with you.’ “
Jaime Mayor Oreja, who is vice president for majority party at the European Parliament, said “it is the first time that legislators from both sides of the Atlantic are coming together to address the threats of jihadi terror. We are pleased to have accomplished this first step and other important steps will follow.”
Members of Congress who signed this declaration include: Myrick, Kay Granger, R-Texas, Paul Broun, R-Ga., Bill Shuster, R-Pa., Ed Royce, R-Calif., and former Congressman Bud Cramer of Alabama.
Members of the European Parliament who co-signed include: Oreja (Spain), a former Minister of Interior, Corien Worthmann-Kool (Netherlands), Timothy Kirkhope MEP (U.K.), Othmar Karas (Austria), Marian Jean Marinescu (Romania), and Ioannis Kasoulides (Cyprus), a former foreign minister.
Canadian MP Irwin Cotler, a former minister of justice, also joined the delegations and signed the declaration.
The letter will be co-signed by a wider range of lawmakers from the three legislatures in Europe, Canada and the United States, from members of parties on the conservative, liberal and progressive sides of the chambers.
The declaration calls on:
Dr. Walid Phares is the author of the “War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy” and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
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