Mr. Speaker, the Iranian regime is the number one state sponsor of terror in the whole world, and they commit terrorist acts even against their own people. I am proud to support H.R. 4744, the Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act, introduced by my friend, Chairman MCCAUL.
The mullahs in Tehran are among the world’s worst human rights abusers. This year, we have witnessed their brutality again on display as they continue to mercilessly crush dissent from their own people.
International attention has faded, but the Iranian people are still in the streets demanding their rights, whether they be economic opportunity, access to water, religious freedom, or gender equality. In response, the regime has murdered dozens and locked up thousands, as it has done so many times before, without punishment from the outside world.
This is nothing new for the Islamic Republic. Look no further than the 1988 massacre, where 30,000 of Iran’s political prisoners were systematically murdered by the regime.
This barbaric mass execution occurred by public hangings, firing squads, and included teenagers and pregnant women who refused to announce their political affiliations, including many from the MEK, today’s leading Iranian dissident group. So horrific was the act that deputy to Iran’s ruler at the time, Ayatollah Khomeini, called it: ‘‘The greatest crime committed during the Islamic Republic for which history will condemn us.’’
And, yes, history now condemns the regime for these acts of murder. This bill will provide for that condemnation and call for investigation into this crime against humanity.
It also urges our government to work with international partners and investigate other major human rights abuses, such as the dozens more killed during protests in 1999, 2009, and 2017, and sanction those responsible. In all cases, the families of those murdered by the regime were never told what happened to their loved ones’ remains.
This important bill will pressure the Iranian Government to disclose the final resting place of the missing so their families may have a small bit of peace. Mr. Speaker, now is the day of reckoning for the Iranian regime.
And that is just the way it is.