WASHINGTON – Responding to the recent protests taking place in Iran, several resolutions have been introduced in the House and Senate expressing support for the rights of the Iranian protesters and encouraging the Trump Administration to accelerate the license of communications technology to Iran.
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) has been advocating for the expansion of trade exemptions on telecommunications tools that would promote civil society in Iran. We have discussed this matter with numerous Congressional offices, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), and are glad to see that the policies we’ve recommended are or will soon be included in the resolutions introduced this past week.
The Royce-Engel resolution encourages the Trump Administration to accelerate the license of communications technology to Iran to “improve the ability of the Iranian people to speak freely” and asks that social media and technology companies refuse to cut off the Iranian people from communication platforms. This resolution has since passed the House, 415 – 2.
PAAIA is also advocating for the inclusion of communications technology to be added as an amendment to a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The resolution supports the rights of all Iranian citizens to have their voices heard and is currently co-sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Both resolutions express support for the rights of the Iranian protesters, condemn human rights abuses in Iran, and call for the United States to work with the United Nations to create a monitoring mechanism to oversee human rights violations in Iran.
PAAIA supports the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people and their right to fulfill them according to the rule of law and respect for universal human rights.