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Condemning Iran's State-Sponsored Persecution of its Baha'i Minority

Floor Speech

By: Ted Yoho
By: Ted Yoho
Date: Dec. 7, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Speaker, this body is no stranger to the human rights abuses committed by the Iranian regime. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terror and has regularly attacked and detained those who disagree with them, including even their own people and American citizens.

Today, we focus on the regime's religious persecution of the Baha'i, Iran's largest religious minority group. The Baha'i in Iran are regularly subject to arbitrary interrogations and arrests without due process. They are often denied employment and access to higher education. Their cemeteries have been vandalized, and many of their leaders have been executed. Moreover, Iranian state media publishes anti-Baha'i hate propaganda, exposing them to prejudices and even potentially violent attacks by their neighbors.

Mr. Speaker, the Trump administration has admirably used sanctions to punish Iran's human rights abusers, but we cannot let up until all people in Iran, including the Baha'i, have the right to practice their faith freely. With this resolution, we vow to continue to hold human rights abusers accountable, including those who target the Baha'i.

The Iranian regime must end their persecution of the Baha'i by releasing those who have been illegally imprisoned, by ending their hate-filled propaganda campaign against the Baha'i, and by reversing policies that the Baha'is equal opportunity.

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Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot).

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Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, one of the principles this country was founded upon was the freedom to worship. This is a right that people all around the world should have, including the people of Iran. Resolutions like this remind the world that the United States of America will not turn a blind eye to religious persecution.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Deutch) and the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Wilson) for their leadership in introducing this bipartisan resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to support H. Res. 823, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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