May 2, 2013, Washington, D.C. – On May 1, 2013, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA 48th) introduced House Resolution 183, which expresses the sense of Congress that the Broadcasting Board of Governors should broadcast and direct Azeri language content into Iran and Balochi language content into Iran and Pakistan.
Congressman Rohrabacher in the past has introduced resolutions in support of self-determination for the Azeri and Baloch peoples, including their right to have sovereign countries. In July of 2012, Rohrabacher wrote to then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recommending that the United States support the joining of Iranian Azerbaijanis with the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In a letter to Rohrabacher and the Department of State, PAAIA expressed its concern regarding the congressman’s recommendations, noting that such a suggestion would not only be detrimental to the interests of the U.S., but would also not be supported by Americans of Iranian descent or the Azeri population living in Iran. In response, the State Department informed PAAIA that Rohrabacher’s actions reflected his personal opinions and that the policy of the United States respects the existing borders between Iran and Azerbaijan.
House Resolution 183, while non-binding, has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Similar to Congressman Rohrabacher’s previous resolutions on this matter, it is not expected to gain much traction.