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by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Apr 22, 2010
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today spoke out against a bill to create economic sanctions against Iran.
“I support the Obama administration’s efforts towards nuclear nonproliferation. I agree that our security depends on dialogue and negotiations between nations. It was reflected in a proposal that was made last year to freeze Iran’s nuclear programs at existing levels.
“In December of last year, I led the effort to oppose H.R. 2194, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act. I stand here today, almost five months later, to reaffirm my objection to the underlying bill. Five months later, we have not come any closer to a diplomatic resolution to our objections to Iran’s nuclear proliferation program or attempted to amend the language of an Iran sanctions bill to ensure that it does not come at the cost of the well-being of the Iranian people we care to support.
“Iran imports 40% of its gasoline. The leaders of Iran aren’t going to want for gasoline, but the people of Iran will suffer. We have to ask ourselves, will this cause them to turn against their government? Or will it cause them to turn against the United States and our efforts to bring about a cessation of Iran’s nuclear program?
“If we cared about the Iranian people, we would not be back on the House floor considering Iran sanctions. Congress can better demonstrate its commitment to the Iranian people and their brave demonstrations for democracy by focusing on efforts to address the egregious human rights, civil liberties and civil rights abuses that they endure. The legislation under consideration will only play into the hands of the Iranian regime by diverting attention away from the significant social and economic problems that must be addressed.
“I fear that this legislation will actually strengthen the hardliners in Iran and I’m sure that is not what we want to happen. This legislation also severely undermines any future efforts by the administration to engage diplomatically with Iran by limiting the tools the administration can use. Reports suggest that the Iranians have delayed any agreements with the United States for a fuel swap due to internal divisions.
“We must stand in support of the courageous battle for human rights and democracy that the Iranian people are engaged in – many at the cost of their lives.”
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