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Public Statements

Expressing Support For All Iranian Citizens Who Embrace The Values Of Freedom, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, And Rule Of Law

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, the resolution I submitted, on behalf of myself, Senator Lieberman and others, is exactly the same as has been introduced by Congressmen Berman and Pence in the House of Representatives. It is the exact same resolution. It expresses support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, rule of law, and for other purposes.

The resolution expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law, and for other purposes. It condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and progovernment militias as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cell phones and affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.

Basically, what this is is a resolution that has been introduced in both Houses, which affirms America's fundamental respect and commitment to human rights, to people no matter where they reside in the world.

It is unfortunate, in a way, that this resolution is required since the administration does not want to ``meddle,'' and the President has refused to speak out in support of these brave Iranian citizens, most of them young, who are risking their very lives to protest what was clearly an unfair and corrupt election.

What we are seeing in Iran today is sort of a sequence of events that should worry all of us who have watched this before. The demonstrators, some beaten, some killed, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls together the participants in the election and then says there should be no more demonstrations and strong action will be taken.

That is coupled with ejecting the world's media from Iran--first restricting it and then forcing them out so as not to record events. Unfortunately for the Iranian mullahs, Twitter has become an incredible means of communication, as well as cameras in cell phones. The word is still coming out as to the degree of oppression that is being practiced by the Iranian Government.

There is a lot I wish to say today about what is going on in Iran; the fact that we, the United States of America, have a long history of speaking out on behalf of people who are oppressed, who are victims of a corrupt election. We stood tall, America did, for the workers in Gdansk, in solidarity with Lech Walesa. We stood tall for the people of Prague during the Prague Spring, and we were not afraid, as Ronald Reagan was not, to go to the Berlin Wall and say ``Take down this wall,'' and call an evil empire what it was, an evil empire.

One of the ironies of this situation that I wish to address very briefly is that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's political adviser said Thursday that the United States will regret its interference in Iran's disputed election. In other words, our President says he does not want to go meddle and at the same time, of course, they are accusing us of doing exactly that.

He, the adviser, said:

I hope in the case of the elections they realize their interference is a mistake and that they don't repeat this mistake. They will certainly regret this. They will have problems reestablishing relations with Iran.

In the history of this country, since July 4, 1776, we affirmed the fundamental rights of all people throughout the world, and that is the inalienable rights granted by our Creator to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That commitment to human rights was there then and it is there today. The United States of America must, and this body must, affirm our support for fundamental human rights of the Iranian people who are being beaten and killed in the streets of Tehran and other cities around Iran. We are with them.

It is not an accident that the signs ``Where is my vote?'' are in English. They are waiting for an expression of support from the Government and the people of the United States of America. I think this resolution is an important way to do so.

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