Washington, D.C. - Congressman Brad Sherman on Thursday applauded a State Department proposal to devote $75 million to support democracy and human rights activists, labor unions and broadcasters trying to affect change in Iran.
Sherman also renewed his calls for tough diplomatic and economic action aimed at the regime.
“It is important that we communicate with the Iranian people, and it is high time the Bush administration took this much-needed step,” Sherman said, “but it also is important that we couple this action with a credible drive to impose multilateral sanctions against Tehran.”
Sherman has called on the Bush Administration to enforce the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which punishes foreign oil companies that invest in Iran. He has called on the Bush administration to push European and Asian allies to adopt their own sanctions against Iran.
“A complete Iran policy will be a two-pronged effort,” Sherman said. “In addition to supporting democracy and human rights in Iran, we also must apply economic pressure on the government to dry up investments and deny technology to Iran.”
Sherman added that he hopes that legislation on Iran will be moving through the House of Representatives soon, and will include both Rice’s requested funding and provisions providing for enhanced sanctions against the Iranian regime.
The House, meanwhile, on Thursday passed overwhelmingly a resolution condemning the government of Iran for violating its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations and expressing support for efforts to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council.
Sherman joined Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and other colleagues on the House International Relations Committee in introducing the resolution. It condemns Iran’s failures to comply with its nuclear nonproliferation obligations.