Berman, With Pence, Introduces a Changed Iran Resolution

Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm

This dropped in the last hour and I’ve obtained the full text. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has changed Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-Ind.) resolution on Iran significantly, chopping out the more provocative preambles that David Weigel reported on. It now reads:


Expressing support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law, and for other purposes.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;
(2) condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones; and
(3) affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.

The first and third points are unchanged from Pence’s version. The second used to read that the House “condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran, pro-government militias, and affiliated entities against the people of Iran, which has escalated since the June 12, 2009, process of selecting Iran’s next political leader.” That would seem to simultaneously add an important human rights consideration (freedom of communication) while keeping support for Iranian human rights and not reducing the Iranian population, with its multiplicity of perspectives, to just the opposition. The preambly stuff, as you can read in Weigel’s post, put the United States out in front on the side of the demonstrators, who haven’t expressed any such desire for the U.S. Congress to be anywhere near them.

I’m told this is now an agreed-upon text and is expected to go up for a vote tomorrow.

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Comment posted June 19, 2009 @ 12:56 am

China will be happy to mention all countries have a right to protect their citizens from foreign influence and subversives and dump doing any more diplomacy for the United States regarding North Korea.

A better way to deal with the situation is just let the technically savvy set up proxies for Iranians on private computers from all over the world so that Iran can't really make silly comments that only the United States is their enemy in cyberspace when it is only a small fraction of all the participants who set up proxy servers and the whole world wants Iran to be fair and honest when it conducts elections.

Statements by Congress regarding human rights really has limited value to the Iranians because of the 1953 coupe – they still chant “Death to Israel!” and “Death to the United States!” in pro-Ahmadinejad rallies. Of real value is the actions by US citizens as enablers but not meddlers to allow the hundreds of thousands of ex-patriot Iranians to report back from their relatives and friends in Iran.

The United States being condescending to Iran only invokes their hatred for what the United States did in 1953, thus strengthening the feelings of the hardliners to prevent reform.

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