House to Vote on Bipartisan Iran Resolution

Posted June 18, 2009 at 8:07pm

The House will vote Friday on a bipartisan resolution expressing support for Iranian protesters who have been subject to violence in the days following that country’s presidential election.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) introduced a resolution on Thursday condemning the violence against the protesters, the suppression of independent electronic communication — like cell phones — within the country, and affirming “the universality of individual rights.—

It was cleared for a Friday floor vote by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), according to spokeswomen for Pence and Berman.

“This is an important moment for the Congress, our country and the people of Iran,— Pence said in a statement Thursday evening. “For days hundreds of thousands of dissidents have taken to the streets of Iran in support of freedom and democracy.—

Both Pence and Berman had expressed concern and admiration for the supporters of Mir Hussein Moussavi, who was defeated by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an election on June 12 that many international observers worry was illegitimate.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters — dressed in black to mourn dissidents killed by the government militia — marched through the streets of Tehran on Thursday.

“The campaign was characterized by unusually lively and relevant candidate debates, and it is heartening to see the Iranian people themselves engaging in meaningful political discourse,— Berman said in a statement Tuesday evening. “As the Iranian regime reacts to unfolding events, it should keep in mind that — notwithstanding restrictions that it has imposed on the media — the rest of the world is watching closely.—

Pence and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have publicly criticized President Barack Obama for not offering “unqualified support— to the dissidents.