Bob Filner, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, addressing a briefing at the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, November 16, presented H. Res. 1431 cosponsored by 110 Members of Congress. Following is an excerpt from his remarks:
As you know, we have introduced Resolution 1431, which calls upon the US government, the president, the Secretary of State to condemn human rights violations in Iraq and to support the Iranian people’s endeavors toward democracy. In addition, it asks the Secretary of State to remove the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, which is the MEK, from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. I think you all know that soon after the United States handed responsibility for Camp Ashraf over to Iraq, the forces in Iraq in January 2009 carried out violent rage in Camp Ashraf, which left 11 residents dead and hundreds injured. Despite the promises to protect the residents, the Iraqi government continues to violate human rights with members estimated to be over 3400 including over 1,000 women. This needs to stop.
My resolution which I am proud to say has bipartisan support with over 100 co-sponsors, 9 of which sit on the floor with on Foreign Relations Committee of our Congress, seeks to have the MEK removed from the terrorist list which has served as the pretext for the Iranian regimes agents in Iraq to act against the residents of Ashraf. Like other parliaments around the world, we in the United States Congress believe that this organization does not qualify to be on the FTO list both on legal and political grounds.
Removing the MeK from the FTO list is not only the right thing to do but sends the right message to Iran. We know that the Iranian regimes has rebuffed offers of negotiations and appeals, and stepped up their intransigence in every sphere of cooperation in the United States including human rights, nuclear weapons program, and support for terrorism in the region.
This morning we sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Clinton that tells her about HR 1431 and state the number of members that we have cosponsoring it and we know that Iranian officials should not be seen as exploiting an unjust us designation to further justify their draconian punishment on prisoners of conscious.
We know that the MeK’s continued designation has deadly consequences. Our resolution sends a message to the world that violations of human rights will not be tolerated.
I would like to of course thank the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Mrs. Rajavi, who has not only led this fight, but has also offered all kinds of assistance and aid to the residents of Camp Ashraf. After the members of Congress speak we will hear a message from Mrs. Rajavi from her home in France.