June 19th, 2009
09:04 AM ET
9 years ago

House expected to vote on Iranian resolution

A new House resolution would decry 'ongoing violence against demonstrators' in Iran.

A new House resolution would decry 'ongoing violence against demonstrators' in Iran.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on a resolution that supports "all Iranians who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law."

The resolution also "condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators."

The supporters include Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman, a California Democrat, and Republicans Mike Pence and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

UPDATE BELOW: Sen. John McCain has introduced a similar resolution in the Senate.

The U.S. government is in a precarious position regarding how to respond to the massive rallies in Tehran opposing the results of last week's presidential election which showed a victory for incumbent hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Supporters of Ahmadinejad's main rival, Mir Hossein Moussavi, have taken to the streets this week calling for a new election and protesting the Iranian government's crackdown on the protests, which killed at least eight people.

President Barack Obama has said he is "deeply troubled" by the violent protests but he avoided siding with Ahmadinejad's opponents, telling reporters that "It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be."

"It's not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling, the U.S. president meddling in Iranian elections," Obama said.

The resolution that U.S. lawmakers are expected to vote on has been tweaked from its initial version, according to The Washington Independent which has posted copies of both versions of the bill. The blog reported that Berman changed the text of the initial version, submitted by Pence, which mentioned Iran's June 12 presidential election. The initial draft resolution did not refer to it as an election, but a "process of selecting Iran's next political leader," the blog reported.

The amended bill that is expected to be voted on states that the House of Representatives:

(1) expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;

(2) condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones; and

(3) affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.

On Thursday, Cantor joined critics of the White House's response to Iran's disputed presidential election, saying the United States has a "moral responsibility" to condemn attacks on protesters.

"The administration's position that what's going on in Iran is a 'vigorous debate' is absurd," he said.

"People are being brutalized and murdered by the regime in Tehran. We have no idea exactly how many have died or have been seriously injured, since the regime has restricted journalists. In no way do these actions constitute a 'vigorous debate.'"

The congressman from Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House, added that "America has a moral responsibility to stand up for these brave people, to defend human rights, and to condemn the violence and abuses by the regime in Tehran."

UPDATE: A similar resolution was introduced in the Senate Friday by Republican Sen. John McCain, who has been outspoken in his criticism of President Barack Obama's response to this week's massive rallies in Iran against the results of last week's presidential election.

The Arizona senator introduced a resolution on the Senate floor Friday morning that he said would be "an expression of support by the government and the people of the United States of America" for those protesting the results of the June 12 election.

"It is unfortunate in a way that this resolution is required since the administration does not want to - quote - meddle and has refused, 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," McCain told his fellow senators.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Deirdre Walsh, Peter Hamby and Dan Lothian contributed to this report.

Filed under: Iran
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Respect

    What a bunch of idiots!

    June 19, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. Respect

    Can we get a republican led Darfur resolution? Didn't think so!

    June 19, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. gl, From Pittsburgh

    The congressman from Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House, added that "America has a moral responsibility to stand up for these brave people, to defend human rights, and to condemn the violence and abuses by the regime in Tehran."

    Hey, Repubicans remember 2000 election in the country it was stolen – Did you fools do any thing? You Repubicans are the Taliban of this country. You want to fight for other coutries HUMAN RIGHTS, BUT don't fight for your own country HUMAN RIGHTS. YOU REPUBLICANS MAY HAVE FORGET ABOUT THE 2000 ELECTION, BUT MOST AMERICAN PEOPLE DID NOT!

    June 19, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well do what you have to do Congress. I stand by the President's decision to be mum until a resolution has been made, which should be coming out today. Let's see what Khomeini does.

    June 19, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    While they are at it, why not pass the same resolution for the American Citizens here at home? I have been lead to believe that we have freedom and liberty here at home, but I can not be gay, or smoke pot, or smoke cigarettes, I'm taxed above 50 % of my earnings, and I can not visit Canada ( which is only 60 miles away), I can not have a back yard camp fire, can't be sick, take a vacation, can not retire until I'm dead.

    June 19, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  6. Dawn In Pa

    and why are we involved? Did Iran have a resolution against the United States when Bush and Company stole the elections away from Gore in 2000, and did they have one in 2004.

    If you have been watching the news lately, Iranian supreme leader condemning the US and the UK in interfering in their election, gee why can't we be concerned and be diplomatic at the same time, they are going to do what they want anyways. We meddled in the 50's and then they over threw the Shah of Iran, taking 52 hostiages, holding them for 444 days. They were released when Reagan took the oath of Office, do we need this again, we have more enemies out there then allies, and you can thank GWB...

    June 19, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  7. Jesus

    It's about time.

    June 19, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. Sharon Northern Virginia

    Come on REplug stop trying to create another war. How many more American women and men need to die? What about our bad election process in 2000 and 2004?

    June 19, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I wonder if this would have played out this way if John McCain were present. Answer: NO
    There would have never been any dialogue from him to the entire Muslim world. He would probably be trying to invade Iran. Now here he is, CANTor and the rest of republican lames acting like they support the Iranians.

    June 19, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. dominican mama 4 Obama

    I said it before, I'll say it again: this is the time for us to mind our own business. Read in the paper yesterday that some Iranians are accusing us of promoting the current unrest. !?! The situation is very tenous. Folks kep pushing for the President to comment, that's because it is what we have always done: interfered where we are not wanted. Please, we have to get away from that brand of "foreign policy". It hasn't worked!!!

    Let the people of Iran sort themselves out. Please!!

    June 19, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. ge

    practice what you preach

    June 19, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  12. Once You Vote Black: PUMA where are you?

    What is the point of commenting or making a point. Let the Iraninans figure out what they want to do. Who ever wins we will have to work with them or fight them. We don't want them to have the excuse of saying the US picked their leader. Stay out of it Obama, let the House do what they want.

    June 19, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Donkey Party

    Not only are the idiot RepubliCONS trying to undermine the President's policy, they are undermining the legitimacy of the Iranian opposition with their self-serving political grandstanding. Why does the GOP ALWAYS defy political experts? What knowledge of Middle-eastern politics do these right-wingers have? I despise them for their hypocrisy. They don't want the government in your lives, but it's ok to meddle in the lives of the Iranians. It is more than apparent that the only thing on the GOP agenda is to start WWIII.

    June 19, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |

    Make you wonder whose side our illustrious leaders are really on.

    June 19, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |

    And to all of you war mongers, this is as far as America should go into another countries elections. America does not have the best record of running legitimate elections after 2000, and we should learn to mind our own business when it comes to the way that others live.

    June 19, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. justice counts

    The US always trying to put is nose in other countries business. This country has problems all over within its borders and now trying to put its nose in another countries affairs.

    June 19, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. GI Joe

    I'm complaining in writing to my representatives in congress today.

    Our taxes are paying their salary to DO OUR WORK. NOT to interfere in other countries elections. Maybe we should vote some more of them out - the next batch might work for US.

    June 19, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Willy Brown

    Vote for what? How about working on the USA democrats!

    June 19, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. RealityKing

    So much for Obama's Linclon, JFK and Reaganesk abilities..

    June 19, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. The New and Improved No Incumbents 2010

    Meddling in Iran's election will only strengthen the hardliners. Iranians are perfectly capable of dealing with this as evidenced by the size of the protests.
    Would Americans have welcomed Iranian intervention supporting one side of the disputed 2000 election? Would we have wanted Russia to tell us in 1960 that Nixon won because of disputed ballots in Chicago that went for Kennedy?
    Republicans are demogoguing this issue by saying that America has the responsibility and the power to intervene in Iran. The U.S. will be hated if we don't respect other countries' sovereignty.

    June 19, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Roger in CA

    Man, politicians just can't help themselves, can they?

    Obama is completely right that it would be counterproductive for the U.S. to appear to be meddling in the Iranian process. This sort of political masturbation that the Congress wants to pursue is exactly the sort of thing that will be used by the hardliners in Iran to leverage their position.

    The problem with democracy, I guess, is that politicians are remarkably spineless and feel the need to pander to the least common denominator "gut reactions" out there. Sure, we are inclined to root for the guy who ISN'T the KNOWN anti-Semitic and belligerent freak, and our media just LOVES this sort of story. But let's please be careful: "the devil you know vs. the devil you don't know..."

    Remember: Saddam Hussein consolidated his position in the world because he was Iran's enemy, so the simplistic drivel we were fed here is that he MUST be our friend.....

    June 19, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. judy, Wisconsin

    Stay neutral! For once, keep your big noses to yourself!!!!

    June 19, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. George From Minneapolis

    We (America) had our own disputed election a few years ago, so, I am glad that the President the sense to know America is in no moral position to speak out against what is going on in Iran at the moment.

    Finally, we have a leader who respects other countries enough to realize that they are smart enough to handle their own domestic issues.

    June 19, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. flybyshoeing

    Stop wasting time on these meaningless resolutions and get busy on healthcare. Good Grief.

    June 19, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Thank about it there nothing the United States can do but whine. President Obama is right . "It's not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling, the U.S. president meddling in Iranian elections," Obama said. But this goes all the way back to the Shaw and North. Nothing but Spend control from Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House.

    June 19, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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