Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., continued to support a resolution “condemning Iran’s government for persecuting the 300,000 members of the Baha’i faith.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oreg., introduced the resolution on Wednesday with the support of Rubio and U.S. Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
“Baha’is in Iran should be free to practice their faith safely and peacefully,” Wyden said. “But the Iranian government continues to wrongly imprison Baha’i religious leaders and persecute their followers, in violation of Iran’s own international commitments. This resolution puts the Senate on record supporting a foreign policy that reflects American values.”
“Iran’s continued persecution of the Baha’i community is a troubling violation of a most basic human right,” said Durbin. “They deserve to practice their faith without further harassment.”
“As the Iranian regime continues to persecute members of the Baha’i community, we stand with them and say plainly that repressing religious minorities is wrong and immoral. Religious freedom is one of our nation’s bedrock principles and our obligation to protect and promote it extends beyond our own borders. I’m proud to join my colleagues in support of our values and in solidarity with the Baha’i as we call for an end to this abuse,” Boozman said.
“The Iranian Baha’i community is the largest religious minority in Iran with membership of more than 300,000 people. Unlike other religious minorities such as Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, Iran’s Baha’is have never been recognized officially and are often subjected to persecution by the Iranian regime,” Wyden’s office noted. “The regime often seizes personal property, denies Baha’i access to education and employment opportunities and detains or imprisons Baha’is based solely on their religious beliefs. Over the past 10 years, about 850 Baha’is have been arbitrarily arrested in Iran. This resolution denounces the religious persecution and calls for the immediate release of all religious prisoners.”
Rubio has been championing this type of resolution since 2017.
“For decades the Iranian regime has discriminated against and brutally persecuted members of the Baha’i community,” said Rubio when he first championed the resolution. “Baha’i educators, business owners, and community leaders have been targeted, including the Baha’i Seven who have been unjustly imprisoned since 2008. The lack of religious freedom in Iran for Baha’is and other peaceful religious minorities cannot be ignored.”
Wyden’s resolution was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com