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Public Statements

Expressing Support For Iranians Who Embrace Democracy

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BERKLEY. I thank the gentleman from California for yielding and for his steady leadership on this and so many other issues, the ranking member ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, and I thank the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Pence) for his leadership on this and so many other Middle East-related issues as well.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution and in support of the people of Iran whose voices deserve to be heard in a free, open and democratic way. We are not here today to discuss the outcome of this election or involve the United States in the internal politics of Iran. The American people, through their elected representatives, are here today to stand with the people of Iran and people all over the world who yearn to express their opinions and to exercise their right to free speech and fair elections.

It takes an enormous amount of courage to stand up to your government in a repressive society, and the American people applaud those heroes who face intimidation and oppression for expressing their views. I am personally in awe of the Iranian people and hope others will learn by their example. I also support President Obama, who I believe has steered an excellent course for dealing with this situation. While some have called upon him to condemn the Iranian government more forcefully, I believe it is essential that the United States not interfere in this remarkable debate and public demonstration. What the world is watching unfold in Iran is condemnation enough of what is happening in that country. We should, however, encourage free speech, free elections and nonviolence for all the parties involved. It's a wise course, and I believe it is one we would have benefited from in years past.

I thank the gentleman from California once again. I encourage all of my colleagues to support this legislation. I support it totally.

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