Recommendations for the U.S. Congress on Iran
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Since peaceful protests erupted across Iran in September 2022, the Islamic Republic has sought to crush them by killing hundreds of men and women, including dozens of children, arresting thousands, and executing protesters. Congress can play a vital role in supporting the basic rights and freedoms of the Iranian people.
ENCOURAGE OTHER GOVERNMENTS TO SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN
When members of Congress travel overseas as part of congressional delegations to meet with foreign officials, they should urge other governments to downgrade diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, expand human rights sanctions, and freeze the assets of Islamic Republic officials.
WORK WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO STRENGTHEN U.S. SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN
Members of Congress should work with human rights groups to forge bipartisan recommendations for the administration to increase support for the protesters in Iran, including calling on the U.S. State Department to urge allied and other partner governments to recall ambassadors from the Islamic Republic and support the expulsion of the Islamic Republic from rights- focused international bodies.
EXPAND FUNDING TO SUPPORT INTERNET ACCESS IN IRAN
In light of the Iranian government’s internet shutdowns and censorship, as well as the difficulties the people of Iran face when paying for communication tools due to the reluctance of banks to process financial transactions with Iranians, members of Congress should encourage private companies in their districts to make their tech products available to the people of Iran, and provide funding to ensure companies offer, free of charge, the products Iranians need to communicate safely with one another and the world.
EXPAND ASSISTANCE TO IRANIANS FLEEING PERSECUTION IN IRAN
Congress should support expanded U.S. assistance to Iranians fleeing the Islamic Republic’s persecution, including expediting asylum cases, and it should encourage other governments to provide similar assistance, especially in countries bordering Iran that are more likely to receive Iranian refugees.
EXPAND FUNDING FOR FARSI-LANGUAGE BROADCASTS
Congress should expand funding for Farsi-language broadcasts so that the people of Iran have increased access to independent news as well as programs that air the voices and causes of dissidents, activists and other human rights defenders.
FACILITATE THE SENDING OF REMITTANCES TO IRAN FROM IRANIAN-AMERICANS
Members of Congress should encourage the U.S. Treasury to facilitate the transfer of funds by Iranian-Americans to their families in Iran, which are presently encumbered by financial processing difficulties.
STRENGTHEN HUMAN RIGHTS SANCTIONS
Members of Congress should encourage the U.S. Treasury to further identify and sanction individuals, companies and organizations associated with human rights violations, including officials in the intelligence and security forces, police, judiciary, prisons and detention centers, and the inner circle of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
RECOGNIZE IRANIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND POLITICAL PRISONERS
Members of Congress should make public statements condemning the Islamic Republic’s violent suppression of peaceful protest and should advance public recognition of Iranian human rights defenders and political prisoners in Iran through formal statements, the marking of anniversaries, the bestowing of awards, and references at press conferences.