A resolution condemning Iran for Persecuting the Baha’I has just passed without objection in the House, and it was mainly spearheaded by retiring Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democrat Ted Deutch.
Slamming the Iranian regime, the resolution introduced in April 2017 condemns “Iran’s human right’s violations, particularly its persecution of its Baha’i minority, and urging the administration to impose sanctions against the Iranian regime for its human rights abuses.”
Both lawmakers are members of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, which Ros-Lehtinen is the chairwoman of and Deutch is the top Democrat on the subcommittee. Both have also worked diligently on legislation that focuses on the Middle East.
When he first sponsored the bill last year, Deutch explained that “The Iranian regime perpetrates some of the most egregious human rights abuses against its own people, including denying them freedom of religion, persecuting minorities like the Baha’i, and imprisoning LGBT people. The United States must continue to stand squarely against these violations of basic human rights, including by strictly applying and enforcing existing sanctions and strengthening punishments for offenders. This resolution sends a strong statement to the abusive regime that its treatment of the Baha’i, its unjust repression and persecution of Iranians, and its imprisonment of U.S. and other foreign nationals will be met with a strong response.”
Commenting on the passing of the resolution, Ros-Lehtinen commented that “Iran’s Baha’i community is a frequent target of the regime’s human rights abuses, subjecting adherents to arbitrary arrest and harassment, denying employment, refusing to recognize marriages, and destroying cemeteries and holy places. By passing Ted’s and my resolution, Congress is sending a strong message of support to those suffering in Iran and making it clear that those responsible for this persecution will be held accountable. I urge the administration to continue using all tools at its disposal, including sanction authorities with human rights provisions, to bring an end to these abuses.”