A majority of members of the House of Representatives are backing a bipartisan resolution that supports the Iranian opposition movement's call for a secular, democratic Iran -- and condemns Iranian state-sponsored terrorism.
“There’s a reason that there is a strong bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives has come together to cosponsor this resolution condemning Iran’s terror attacks, it's because the world is watching the struggle for freedom in Iran and it is cheering your cause,” sponsor Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said in an address to the Organization of the Iranian American Communities on Wednesday.
“America should and does stand in solidarity with brave Iranians fighting for a new chapter in Iran’s great and multi-millennial history," Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said.
The resolution, which has 221 lawmakers backing it, offers support for National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) leader Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for a future Iran -- including a universal right to vote, market economy and a non-nuclear Iran. McClintock wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week bringing his attention to the resolution.
It also recognizes a series of efforts by Iranian officials to conduct terrorist attacks on NCRI members and other activists in Europe, including a plot to bomb an NCRI event in Paris in 2018. It calls on all nations to “prevent the malign activities of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic missions” and eventually close them down, amid fears that attacks were being plotted from embassies in Europe, particularly in Albania.
“It was encouraging to see that this resolution sponsored by a House Majority has also addressed the terror plot in the U.S. against our movement. But we should not rest until the entire terror and spying network of the Iranian regime is dismantled,” Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told Fox News.
“The fact that out of ten diplomats or agents of the Iranian regime expelled or jailed in Europe and the U.S. for terror plots over the past two years, eight of them were tied to operations against our movement, is a vivid testimony that the NCRI is the alternative to this regime,” he said.
The resolution is notable not just by the number of sponsors on the resolution, but the broad spectrum of who is on it, including Republicans such as Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas and Democrats such as Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas.
The Trump administration took the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, a move that drew criticism from Democrats who fiercely opposed the withdrawal and said that the deal made the region more stable.
Since then, the U.S. has ramped up sanctions on the regime, particularly as the regime has cracked down harshly on protests at home, a crackdown that resulted in an estimated 1,500 people killed.
Recently, the Trump administration has called on the U.N. Security Council to extend a 13-year-old arms embargo on the country and highlighted what it called the "ongoing violation" of the embargo by the Iranians -- violations that include funneling weapons to militant proxies in the region.
That push, too, has broad bipartisan support with Democrats including Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., finding a rare point of agreement with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as she has put her name to a bipartisan letter backed by the organization calling for the embargo to be extended.