US lawmakers call for more support to Iranian protesters, sanctions on regime

The resolution calls for the international community to speak out against the Iranian regime’s human rights violations and additional coordinated sanctions.

Top US lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bipartisan resolution affirming American support for Iranian protesters and condemning Iran’s security apparatuses for their violent crackdown.

“It is my hope that Congressional approval of this bipartisan, bicameral resolution will help amplify the voices of the hundreds of thousands of women and men of Iran who are protesting against the brutality of one of the world’s most repressive regimes,” Senator Bob Menendez said in a statement.

Menendez, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn were joined by nine colleagues in announcing approval of the Senate resolution.

The resolution calls for the international community to speak out against the Iranian regime’s human rights violations and urges continued efforts to hold those violators accountable, including through additional coordinated sanctions.

The senators also stressed the importance of US and global support for providing more access to internet freedom inside Iran. During anti-government protests over the last few months, the regime has cut off internet access to parts of the country.

The other senators who supported the resolution were: Bob Casey, Bill Cassidy, Jacky Rosen, Ted Cruz, Kevin Cramer, Ben Cardin, Todd Young, Chris Van Hollen, and Bill Hagerty.

An identical resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by a bipartisan group of members of Congress as well.

Iranians have been in the streets since September following the killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained for improper hijab. Thousands of Iranians began demanding the regime’s collapse and fundamental human rights. They were met with a violent crackdown by Iranian security forces, which led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.

Menendez said he was committed to keeping the Committee’s spotlight on the Iranian regime’s crackdowns, shutdowns, and deflections in response to the demands of the Iranian people.

Reports suggested that Iran has done away with its so-called morality police in recent days. But state-run media later played down these reports.

For her part, Senator Blackburn said the move to abolish the religious police was “only a façade” to distract the world from what protesters are demanding - “to free Iran of the oppression altogether.”

Blackburn added: “The United States must stand by them until they secure victory.”

Senator Todd Young praised the courage and resolve of the protesters, calling it “inspiring.”

Young said that diplomatic efforts and public statements are needed as well as holding the regime accountable for its abuses.