(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement after her resolution, H. Res. 220, Condemning the Government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights, was approved by unanimous consent in the U.S. House of Representatives. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Iran’s deplorable human rights record at home is often overshadowed by its destructive behavior abroad, including its global support for terror and destabilizing influence in the region and beyond. Iran’s Baha’i community is a frequent target of the regime, subjecting adherents to arbitrary arrest and harassment, refusing to recognize Baha’i marriages, and destroying their cemeteries and holy places. Economic repression is also severe as Baha’is are prohibited from public sector employment while private employers are pressured not to hire them.
“With this resolution, Congress makes clear that it has not forgotten about the suffering of the Iranian people, condemning the regime’s repression and its notable persecution of the Baha’is while urging the State Department to sanction the officials responsible for human rights violations. Despite failed attempts to portray Rouhani as a moderate, human rights under the current regime are worse than ever and I urge the administration not to turn a blind eye to the torment the regime inflicts at home by holding those responsible accountable with the sanctions at its disposal.”