The letter below was written by a bipartisan group of past Chairs together with the current Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). They praise the people of Iran for their courage and expressing solidarity with them. In addition, they call on the US government to support the protestors in Iran and to send a clear signal that human rights and the Iranian government’s treatment of dissidents will be at the top of the agenda in any future dealings between the US and Iran.
This letter is a response to nearly a week of demonstrations across Iran. What began as a protest against high food prices and rampant unemployment has broadened into a political movement demanding leadership changes and greater freedom and human rights. The government has responded with violence: more than twenty protestors have been killed, and hundreds have been arrested.