Opposing Iran’s horrific actions

October 5, 2015 by  

Rep. Rick Gray facilitated an effort in which 26 members of the Arizona Legislature expressed opposition to the Iranian regime and its appalling rise in executions and other horrific human rights violations.  The following letter was presented at a New York protest recently.  Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Howard Dean, John Bolton, many of our Generals and other military officers were in attendance – as well as many others.   

Dear President Obama,

We are deeply concerned about the worsening human rights situation in Iran.

While much of the public’s attention has been focused on the Administration’s nuclear negotiations with President Hassan Rouhani, we cannot help but notice the appalling rise in Iran of executions, imprisonment, torture, and other forms of persecution against a wide array of pro-democracy dissidents, religious and ethnic minorities, and women. We urge you to utilize all U.S. resources available to address this crisis.

As a wide array of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have noted, nearly 700 people were executed during the first six months of this year, alone. Capital offenses have included a range of so-called “moral offenses” and pro-democracy activism.

Perhaps most saddening, women and the youth are especially vulnerable to government-sanctioned violence and oppression. Acid thrown on the face of women, arrests and executions of young persons – without due process protections, of course – all of these are becoming acceptable tools in Iran for the enforcement of the government’s social, religious, and political strictures.

Freedom of religion is severely curtailed. For example, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini has been detained in Iran since the summer of 2012, and was recently sentenced to eight years in prison, on bogus charges. Other ethnic and religious minorities have also been subjected to brutal crackdown. Bloggers and journalists, among them American citizens, have been detained.

Iran’s behavior beyond its own borders is no less appalling. Its aggression toward Iraq and its support of terrorism throughout the region is well documented. We must also note the numerous attacks carried out by forces loyal to Iran against the unarmed Iranian dissidents and asylum-seekers in camps Ashraf and Liberty, leaving more than 100 people dead and more than a thousand wounded.

The rise in violence and persecution against political, religious, and ethnic undesirables is occurring under the supervision of President Hassan Rouhani. Moreover, it’s happening simultaneous to an international charm offensive designed to sanitize Iran’s history of internal oppression and external support for terrorism.

But, President Rouhani cannot rewrite his country’s record of violence and political oppression, and he cannot cleanse his own personal involvement with some of the regime’s most shocking acts. Since the 1980s, Rouhani has played a key role in government decisions to murder, imprison, or torture thousands of people.

These include the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, based upon a fatwa from then-Supreme Leader Khomeini. They also include the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people. Both of these events occurred while Rouhani served as a leading official within the Iranian security agencies believed to have organized, carried out, or authorized the operations. The pattern of violence has continued under his leadership as president, reflected abroad in his support for Houthis in Yemen and for Syrian atrocities against its own people in that war-torn country.

Iran has been pursuing ballistic missiles; the ICBM program of Iran needs to be curbed, as it provides the delivery system, once Iran gets the nuclear bomb.

We respectfully urge you to use your powers and influence to pressure Rouhani and his government to improve the human rights situation in Iran. We hope you will make human rights in Iran one of your highest priorities.

If Iran seeks to renew its relationship with the United States and to regain the respect of the international community, it must first demonstrate its own respect for the most basic international norms of human rights. And if President Rouhani wishes to lead his country into a new era of peace abroad and prosperity at home, he must end Iran’s barbarous acts of oppression and terrorism.


Rep. Rick Gray
Rep. David Gowan
Rep. John Allen
Rep. Sonny Borrelli
Rep. Paul Boyer
Rep. Doug Coleman
Rep. Karen Fann
Rep. Mark Finchem
Rep. Anthony Kern
Rep. Jonathan Larkin
Rep. Jay Lawrence
Rep. Vince Leach
Rep. David Livingston
Rep. Phil Lovas
Rep. J. D. Mesnard
Rep. Darin Mitchell
Rep. Jill Norgaard
Rep. Frank Pratt
Rep. T. J. Shope
Sen. Nancy Barto
Sen. Judy Burges
Sen. Adam Driggs
Sen. David Farnsworth
Sen. Gail Griffin
Sen. John Kavanagh
Sen. Debbie Lesko



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