Women Routinely Targeted

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in response to the United Nations investigation highlighting worsening human rights conditions in Iran:

“While deeply troubling, this UN human rights report does not come as a surprise.  Under ‘reformist’ President Rouhani, the Iranian regime continues to commit grave human rights abuses against the Iranian people. All too often, women bear the brunt of this brutality.  Just this past weekend, the Iranian regime hanged a 26-year old woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, whose only crime was defending herself against rape.  

“The regime’s response to the recent acid attacks on Iranian women is appalling but not surprising. When a number of young women such as 27-year old Neda were blinded by acid thrown from men on motorcycles, the regime responded to popular protests by detaining a prominent female human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and passing a law that could incite, rather than discourage, similar heinous attacks. I fear that Iran’s Basij militia will see this new law as an even more liberal license to attack Iranian women for how they are dressed. Hopefully Iranian society will step up to these acts of cowardice.

“The Obama Administration should keep these abuses in mind when negotiating with the Iranian regime —it is difficult, if not impossible, to believe that the regime would be a peaceful nuclear power when it behaves so violently towards its own citizens. Common sense says we must be intensely skeptical of Iran’s intentions.”