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Iranian-Americans Urge Biden To Take A Stance On Raisi's Rights Record

Four hundred prominent American Iranian have written to President Joe Biden on September 14 asking him to take a clear stance regarding the human rights record of the new Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) as well as come up with a roadmap to counter “Iranian regime’s malign and dangerous expansion of its terrorism globally”.

The signatories who are scientists, scholars, professors, physicians, industry executives and professionals, have appealed to President Biden to include in his remarks to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76) the views reflected by a large bi-partisan voice in US Congress, UN experts, and the Amnesty International that Raisi should stand trial before international tribunals for crimes against humanity, for his key role in the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran.    

In anticipation of Raisi travelling to New York for the annual UN General Assembly, the signatories tell Biden, “we kindly ask that you echo, in your own address to the Assembly, the Iranian people’s rejection of the Iranian regime, as evident in unprecedented boycott of Iran’s sham elections, and the nationwide and continued uprisings of the Iranian people who seek a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.”

There has been a marked shift in policy toward Iran from the Trump to the Biden administrations. While the former president withdrew from the Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran (JCPOA) and put the Islamic Republic under ‘maximum pressure’ by sanctions, Biden during the campaign clearly rejected this policy and vowed to return to the JCPOA and lift key sanctions, without forcing Iran to negotiate over other issues such as its support for militant groups in the region.

Many American Iranians see Biden’s policy as extending a lifeline to the clerical regime in Iran and possibly preventing the United States from a forceful defense of human rights in their ancestral land.

“Certainly, your words will need to be followed by your administration’s impactful actions directed towards blocking Iranian regime’s violation of human rights, and their export of terrorism in the region and beyond,” the letter to Biden said.

It goes on to speak in detail about Raisi’s role in serious human rights violations throughout his career as a prosecutor and judge and cites Amnesty International’s reports where the human rights organization demands Raisi’s trial.

“Allowing Raisi to address the UN Assembly will be an insult to humanity and in particular to the family members of his victims, as well as the values that this country was founded on,” the signatories say. A copy of the letter is also sent to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.  

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