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US Congress Calls for Tightening Sanctions Against Iranian Regime

US Congress Calls for Tightening Sanctions Against Iranian Regime

Wednesday, 7 December, 2022 - 10:30
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss a resolution condemning Iran on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. (AP)

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee will discuss on Wednesday a draft law that condemns the Iranian regime’s repression of demonstrators and calls on the US administration to tighten sanctions on Tehran.

The Committee Chairman, Bob Menendez, introduced a Senate resolution in September, reaffirming the United States’ support for the Iranian citizens who have taken to the streets in peaceful protest for their fundamental human rights, and condemning the Iranian security forces for their violent response.

The bill, which was widely supported by bipartisan lawmakers, condemns the brutal beating and death of Mahsa Amini and the violent suppression by the Iranian regime of women and men participating in the current demonstrations, including children.

It calls for transparent accountability for all killings of protesters by Iranian security forces.

It further supports internet freedom programs that circumvent the regime and provide alternatives that can be used to bypass attempts by authoritarian governments to censor internet access during times of protest. It also commends private entities willing to provide programs to circumvent such censorship.

While lawmakers encourage continued efforts by the Biden administration to respond to the protests, including the recent sanctioning of the Iranian morality police, they believe the White House can take additional steps in this regard.

Among the suggested steps are immediately imposing additional human rights sanctions on officials and entities responsible for the repression of the current protests and prioritizing efforts to expand unrestricted internet access in Iran. In addition, they called for developing a strategy to prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining and exploiting facial recognition data and software for the use of mass surveillance and enforcement of mandatory hijab.

The bill, which is expected to be approved, encourages the private sector to work with the Biden administration to ensure protestors and activists have access to tools needed to circumvent government surveillance and repression.

It also welcomes the efforts of the international community to support protests in Iran.

The Republican and Democratic lawmakers called on the international community to publicly condemn violence by the Iranian regime against peaceful protesters, and speak out against violations by the regime of fundamental human rights, including the freedom of expression, assembly, and redress of grievances of the Iranian people.

They also urged the international community to impose human rights sanctions on officials and entities that are responsible for the repression of current protests and involved in violating the human rights of the Iranian people.

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