The bipartisan resolution was approved 420-1 on Wednesday, days after the European Union announced sanctions on more than 30 Iranian officials and organizations over the recent deadly riots in the country, which were triggered by the death of a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, last September.
The measure was first introduced in the previous Congress by several Republican and Democratic lawmakers and was revived earlier this month.
The resolution expresses support for the rioters which it said were “risking their safety to speak out against the human rights abuses committed by the Iranian government.”
It also encourages the administration of US President Joe Biden “to immediately impose, under existing authorities, additional human rights sanctions on officials and entities responsible for the repression of the current protests.”
Republican Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who co-led the resolution, claimed in a statement that “With this bipartisan resolution passing the House today, we’re making clear that we support those brave individuals committed to freedom and human rights, both in Iran and around the world.”
Republican Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stated the measure strongly reaffirms the US’s support for “Iranian protesters,” adding that Washington must fully enforce all of its existing sanctions to ensure the Iranian government “is held accountable.”
A spokesman for Republican Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), the lone lawmaker who voted “no”, told the Hill that the congressman opposed the resolution “because it encourages the immediate imposition of sanctions.”
Riots broke out in Iran in mid-September after the death of Amini. The 22-year-old fainted at a police station in Tehran and was pronounced dead three days later in hospital. An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization concluded that Amini’s death was caused by illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.
Iran’s intelligence community has said several countries, including the United States and Britain, have used their spy and propaganda apparatuses to provoke violent riots in the country. London, in particular, is home to several anti-Iran TV networks, including Iran International, Manoto, and BBC Persian, which broadcast a steady stream of misinformation encouraging the Iranian youth to join the rioters during the recent wave of unrest.
Rioters went on a rampage, brutally attacking security officers and causing massive damage to public property. Dozens of people and security personnel were killed in the riots.