February 5, 2003

Mr. NEY (for himself, Mr. GUTKNECHT, Mr. SNYDER, Mr. CUNNINGHAM, and Mr. GIBBONS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations

House Resolution 59

 Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives in support of the people of Iran and their legitimate quest for freedom and friendship with the people of the United States, and for other purposes.  

Whereas the first day of spring, celebrated by millions worldwide as Nowruz--the Persian (Iranian) New Year--symbolizes renewal, birth, and new beginnings;  

Whereas throughout history the world has seen the power of one simple idea: when given a choice, people will choose freedom;  

Whereas all people are endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;  

Whereas the American people respect the Iranian people and value the contribution that Iran's culture has made to world civilization over four millennia;  

Whereas the people of Iran spontaneously gathered in the streets after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, to stand in peaceful solidarity with the American people and reiterated their desire for a dialogue and improved relations with the United States;  

Whereas the people of Iran aspire to democracy, civil, political, and religious rights, and the rule of law;  

Whereas the people of Iran are seeking freedom by non-violent means by choosing the ballot over the bullet;  

Whereas in four consecutive elections, the Iranian people have opted for nonviolent reform;  

Whereas the vast majority of the people of Iran voted for political and economic reform, yet their voices are being ignored by the unelected rulers;  

Whereas Iranian students have held numerous peaceful demonstrations against the death sentence of the reformist professor Hashem Aghajari;  

Whereas talented students and professionals, faced with the dual specter of too few jobs and too many restrictions on their freedom, continue to seek opportunities abroad rather than help build Iran's future at home;  

Whereas despite the slow pace of reform, Iranian student leaders have stated in the United States media that they `will continue to seek political evolution, one that is without violence, and gradual, but certainly no less determined in its democratic aspirations';  

Whereas there exists a broad-based movement and desire for political change in Iran that represents all sectors of Iranian society, including youth, women, students, military personnel, and religious figures, and that is pro-democratic movement that seeks freedom and economic opportunity;  

Whereas some elected members of Iran's parliament have expressed a willingness to conduct a dialogue with Members of the United States House of Representatives;  

Whereas the future of Iran must be decided by the people of Iran without outside interference; and  

Whereas the people of Iran deserve the support of the United States in their quest for liberty, as defined by the people of Iran: Now, therefore, be it  

Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- 

(1) expresses its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the courageous people of Iran for their brave expressions of support following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States; 

(2) recognizes and supports the people of Iran in their daily struggle for democracy, reform, self-determination, human rights, economic prosperity, and the rule of law; 

(3) supports the notion that as the people of Iran move toward a future defined by greater freedom and tolerance, they will have a no better friend than the United States; and 

(4) urges the President to engage with and express support for the Iranian people's domestic movement for democracy and reform and their legitimate aspiration for freedom and democracy. 


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