On Nowruz, the Iranian New Year Bi-Partisan Members of Congress support a free Iran at Capitol Hill event

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, on the occasion of the Iranian New year which will be on Tuesday March 21, 2018, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and 11 other bipartisan members of Congress joined Iranian American Community members and Congressional staffers at an event titled, “Iran Uprising and Nowruz 2018,” to celebrate the Iranian New Year. They expressed optimism that a new day is indeed coming for the people of Iran and expressed support for a free, secular, democratic, and nuclear Iran.

 

In her remarks, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi evoked the message of Nowruz: “In the spirit of hope and new beginnings, let’s pray for the rebirth of freedom and democracy in Iran. Let us commit ourselves to an ongoing fight for peace and justice in our communities around the world….What we want in Iran is a secular, non-nuclear, democratic Iran. And at the time of New Year, let us make that wish something that will come true soon.”

 

The Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee Chair, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) highlighted this year’s nationwide protests, “In many ways, it has been more important for the people of Iran than the 2009 uprisings, because these protests are really from the grassroots level. In addition, this is about popular unrest with the regime, not about fighting within the regime. Therefore, the widespread public discontent with the theocratic Islamist regime has shown that the tides are ready to change…We need to sanction more human rights abusers. We need to cut Iran off from the access to money that it uses to support terror…And we need to ensure that the people of Iran have access to the Internet and the ability to communicate amongst themselves.”

 

“Let me take this opportunity to say happy Nowruz,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA). “This is not any Nowruz because this is the first Nowruz after the beginning of the ongoing protests in Iran, “I know that the quote Supreme Leader of Iran has come out and said that these protests are caused by the MEK.” “I do know that it is a supreme compliment to the MEK, any time you can be condemned by the Supreme Leader of Iran…that you are responsible for an uprising of the Iranian people. You should take that as an incredible compliment.”

Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) highlighted bipartisan support for “the people of Iran,” and their aspiration for, “a secular, democratic, nonnuclear Republic.”Referring to Iran uprising, The Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats Subcommittee Chair, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) also predicted this year would be a great year for Iran and the global community. “This will be the year that the mullahs go back to the mosque and the people of Iran are freed from their tyrants. This will be a year that will be not just to the benefit of the people of Iran, but a year in which the people of the world will breathe a sigh of relief.”

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) added, “The Iranian people need more than our good wishes. They need direct satellite access to the Internet that the regime has denied them on the ground… [They] need us to restore economic sanctions against the regime and U.S. leadership in a renewed boycott of Iran, [and an] “unqualified support for the resistance movement in Iran.”

“My message to the people of Iran is look at this group that we have here,” said Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ). “They haven’t given up on the country of Iran… We have not given up on the country of Iran. We want a free democratic Iran and for the people of Iran, it’s important that you do not lose faith that you continue to work hard.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) congratulated the Iranian people and thanked the Iranian American Community for “continuing to raise your voices and articulate the issues that tell the rest of the world and Americans that indeed there is going to be change in Iran and that one day in the not too distant future there will be freedom and democracy there as there is in much of the rest of the world.”

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) said, “It is especially great to have this celebration in light of the remarkable protests we’ve seen this year across Iran…. the bravery and patriotism of those Iranians who courageously took to the streets to fight for democracy in Iran.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) stated, “Like Democrats and Republicans, people across the ideological spectrum, I too, stand with the Iranian-American community. In your desire for a democratic Iran, for a secular Iran, for an Iran that respects gender equality and allows for everyone to have the opportunity to pursue their god given talents and abilities and be the best that they can be.”

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) recognized the “struggle that’s been going on for a long time in Iran [by people] who are beginning to stand up now and say, we want our freedom.” “I want you to know that there are many of us here in Congress that stand with you, he added.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) celebrated the New Year with event participants expressing, “Solidarity with the Iranian people in order to promote democracy, in order to protect and pursue human rights and to hold all of those who are in violation of human rights accountable and for a nonnuclear Iran.”

The following are excerpts of the speakers remarks:

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “This Nowruz, in the spirit of hope and new beginnings, let’s pray for the rebirth of freedom and democracy in Iran. Let us commit ourselves to an ongoing fight for peace and justice in our communities around the world. I know the Iranian community is a blessing here, but you are a blessing other places as well. What we want in Iran is a secular, nonnuclear, democratic Iran. And at the time of New Year, let us make that wish something that will come true soon.”

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) also stated: And just look at what the world has been witnessing these past few months. In many ways, it has been more important for the people of Iran than the 2009 uprisings, because these protests are really from the grassroots level. In addition, this is about popular unrest with the regime, not about fighting within the regime. So the widespread public discontent with the theocratic Islamist regime has shown that the tides are ready to change….I will continue to push for more action until we see some real change in Iran. We need to sanction more human rights abusers. We need to cut Iran off from the access to money that it uses to support terror around the region and around the world. Moreover, we need to ensure that the people of Iran have access to the internet and the ability to communicate amongst themselves free from interference from the regime. “

Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) said: “You’ve had people here today—leaders of the Republican Party, leaders of the Democratic Party, people have actually fled from terrorism. Albio Sires and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to come to freedom in the United States and so over and over, you—it’s so inspiring. The people of Iran. Their whole support of a secular, democratic, nonnuclear Republic of Iran,”

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) stated: “let me take this opportunity to say happy Nowruz and to say [0:25:16] jumma Mubarak. [Applause] However, this is not any Nowruz. This is the first Nowruz after the beginning of the ongoing protests in Iran and I know that the quote “Supreme” leader of Iran has come out and said that these protests are caused by the MEK. Now I do not know whether that is true or not. However, what I do know is that that is a supreme complement to the MEK. At any time, you can be condemned [applause] by the Supreme leader of Iran. At any time, you can be—it can be said by the Supreme leader that you are responsible for an uprising of the Iranian people. You should take that as an incredible compliment.”

Congressman Donald Rohrabacher (R-CA) said: “This will be a great year for Iran and a great year for the world. This will be the year that the mullahs go back to the mosque and the people of Iran are freed from their tyrants. This will be a year that will be not just to the benefit of the people of Iran, but a year in which the people of the world will breathe a sigh of relief “

Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA0: “The Iranian people need more than our good wishes, and the time has come to act. They need direct satellite access to the internet that the regime has denied them on the ground. They need us to restore economic sanctions against the regime and U.S. leadership in a renewed boycott of Iran. They need the voice of America to express unqualified support for the resistance movement in Iran”

Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) said: “my message to the people of Iran is look at this group that we have here. They have not given up on the country of Iran. We have not given up on the country of Iran. We want a free democratic Iran and for the people of Iran, it’s important that you do not lose faith, that you continue to work hard,”

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) also said: “I congratulate and thank you for continuing to raise your voices and articulate the issues that tell the rest of the world and Americans that indeed there is going to be change in Iran and that one day in the not too distant future there will be freedom and democracy there as there is in much of the rest of the world.”

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA): “You always have such a beautiful display and so much delicious food. But it is especially great to have this celebration in light of the remarkable protests we’ve seen this year across Iran. I want to applaud the bravery and patriotism of those Iranians who courageously took to the streets to fight for democracy in Iran. And they knew full well it could mean imprisonment. Iranians, however, are still speaking out against a government that denies them the opportunity and equality at home and while spreading terror and war elsewhere. “

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): “As was indicated by previous speakers, Democrats and Republicans, people across the ideological spectrum, I, too, stand with the Iranian-American community in your desire for a democratic Iran, for a secular Iran, for an Iran that respects gender equality and allows for everyone to have the opportunity to pursue their god given talents and abilities and be the best that they can be.”

Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA): “I know that there’s a struggle that’s been going on for a long time, and there are a lot of people [of Iran] who are beginning to stand up now and say, “We want our freedom. We want our nation. We want our independence. We want democracy.” And I want you to know that there are many of us here in Congress that stand with you”

Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-CA): I came to celebrate the New Year with all of you and to stand in solidarity with the Iranian people in order to promote democracy, in order to protect and pursue human rights and to hold all of those who are in violation of human rights accountable and for a nonnuclear Iran.