(House of Representatives - January 09, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 5 (Tuesday, January 9, 2018)]
[Pages H66-H72]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                            PROTESTS IN IRAN

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Dunn). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 3, 2017, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Garrett) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 

        Paying Tribute to Two Oakland County Sheriff's Deputies

  Mr. BISHOP of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman 
for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today on National Law Enforcement Appreciation 
Day with a heavy heart to pay tribute to two of Michigan's finest 
Oakland County sheriff's deputies and their legacy of service.
  Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Overall, a 22-year-old veteran 
of the sheriff's department, was killed this past Thanksgiving while 
serving and protecting. Deputy Overall was pursuing a suspect who posed 
a threat to the public and died ensuring no one else's life was put in 
danger that day.
  He is remembered by his friends and family as someone who lived by 
the mantra ``never quit.'' Sonja Overall, the widow of Eric Overall, 
described her husband as a man of integrity who truly left his stamp on 
everyone's heart. His life and legacy will never be forgotten.
  Now, just 5 days ago, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office suffered 
yet another tragedy. Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy David Hack, a 17-
year veteran of the sheriff's office, was securing a car accident scene 
when he was critically struck by a passing car.
  Deputy Hack is well known in the Rochester community, as he serves as 
the sheriff's liaison at Rochester Adams High School in Rochester 
Hills, Michigan.
  He is currently in critical condition. I would like his family to 
know that all the students, educators, and staff at Adams High School 
and the Rochester community schools are praying for his recovery and 
his continued strength to keep fighting until he is fully recovered. 
Indeed, our entire Rochester community sends our prayers.
  Please join me in a moment of silence for Deputy Hack's recovery and 
to honor the memory and mourn the loss of Deputy Eric Overall.
  Mr. Speaker, on this National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, I 
send my deepest condolences to their family, friends, Oakland County 
Sheriff Michael Bouchard, and the entire Oakland County Sheriff's 
Office during this time of tragedy and loss.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, 39 years ago, a collective nightmare was 

[[Page H67]]

upon the people of the nation of Iran, and so when roughly 2 weeks ago, 
while on recess, I became aware of the courage manifest in the action 
of the Iranian people in standing up to a brutal totalitarian regime, I 
immediately contacted our office and suggested that we secure this 
Special Order hour, and reached out to a number of my colleagues, 
several of whom join me today, to speak loudly and clearly on behalf of 
the United States and the nearly 6 million people represented by myself 
and the individuals who will speak here today in support of those who 
would stand up and risk their very existence for those most basic human 
rights, which we as Americans take, tragically, for granted.
  As I stand in this well, Mr. Speaker, in cities that the bulk of 
Americans have never heard of, in Isfahan and Karaj and Tabriz and 
Mashhad and Tehran, indeed, tens of thousands stand in the face of a 
regime with a record of destroying not only freedom but life itself in 
the instance of those who would stand up and demand freedom, stand up 
and demand basic human rights and dignity.
  Mr. Speaker, to put this into perspective, if you were to take the 
population of the nation of Iran circa 1979 and compare it to the 
population of the United States circa 1941 and then align the numbers 
of Americans killed in combat during the entire Second World War, it 
would proportionally be roughly equal to the number of people who have 
given their lives at the hands of the brutal Iranian regime inside the 
borders of Iran. Think about that for a moment. Roughly 60,000 during 
the coup d'etat revolution in 1979, about 12,500 from 1981 to 1984, 
almost 33,000 during the 1988 uprising. We don't know how many were 
murdered in 2009, when this Nation stood silent as Iranians, brave, 
took to the streets to demand self-determination and toleration; that a 
regime should not be able to dictate how one worships, who one marries, 
what one believes; that people should be given basic rights to self-

  Today, we know very little about what is going on in Iran except for 
the brave women and men who are confronting challenges that we, by 
virtue of the fortune of our birth as Americans, will hopefully never 
have to confront. We know that roughly 50 have been murdered; we know 
that roughly 3,000 are imprisoned.
  This time, I will not be silent. I have spoken with Iranian Americans 
of all different facets from a number of different groups. I ask these 
Iranian Americans, as well as those resisting within Iran and Iranians 
disbursed across the globe, to set aside their political differences 
and join together for the common goal of deposing a regime that murders 
its own sons and daughters to a tune that is comparable to the total 
number of American combat deaths during the Second World War. Enough is 
  Today, I stand beside an image of Habib Khabiri. Habib was the former 
captain of the Iranian national soccer team. He and 40 others were 
executed in 1984 at the Evin Prison for having the temerity to 
criticize their government. He was 29 years old. The evidence indicates 
that he was tortured before he was executed.
  In fact, again, as we stated earlier, over 12,000 people were 
executed by the Islamic Republic Security Forces just from 1981 to 
  Next is a young woman who tragically became something of an 
international folk hero for those who were paying attention, in that 
she had the temerity to stand and protest during the Green Revolution 
in 2009, suggesting that the Iranian people had a right to self-
determination, when she was publicly, on film, murdered in the streets, 
26 years old. The United States remained silent. The second of three 
children from a middle class neighborhood, she had the courage to stand 
up and point out injustice when she saw it, and paid with her life. 
Indeed, the protesters with whom she marched shouted, ``America, you 
are either with us or with the mullahs,'' and we did not respond.
  Today, I am responding. This administration is responding.
  The Iranians, with whom I have spoken across a diverse sect of 
opposition, do not want tanks and bombers and missiles, nor do I, 
having worn the uniform of this Nation, but while we can't rule out any 
particular alternatives, all they ask is a word of support; that when 
we act legislatively in this body and in the Chamber down the hallway, 
we have the follow-through to ensure that our actions are backed up; 
that unlike the 1990s, when the Iran Sanctions Act was passed, we don't 
let our so-called European allies turn a blind eye as their corporate 
entities continue to do business with the IRGC that uses the money 
generated through this business not only to murder their own citizens 
but to fund the likes of Hezbollah, and fast forward to current day, 
create instability, peril, death, and destruction literally across the 
entire region from the Mediterranean to the Khyber Pass.
  There is no blind eye being turned this time.
  Next we see Shekar Mohammadzadeh. A nurse, she was arrested, 
imprisoned, and tortured for rendering medical assistance to other 
Iranian brothers and sisters who were brutalized by the revolutionary 
guards in the streets of Iran. She was tortured viciously at Evin 
Prison, served a significant portion of a prison sentence, 7 of 15 
years, before being executed along with nearly 33,000 others circa 
  Now, three names, three faces, three stories, probably 30 seconds to 
a minute on each. Let me put this into perspective, Mr. Speaker. If we 
were to take 5 minutes to show the pictures and speak briefly on every 
individual murdered by the mullah regime in Iran, we would be here for 
over a year going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  I don't stand here saber rattling, suggesting American military 
action. I stand here suggesting that what my Iranian-American friends 
and what people of Iranian dissent who are dissidents throughout the 
world have suggested to me is that if the American Government will 
stand up and say, ``We stand with you against these mullahs,'' that is 
the support that they need to continue the movement to see that there 
is a regime change, which leads to self-determination and democracy in 
Iran and the lifting of a dark cloud of terror from across the globe.
  Don't believe me? I was born in 1972, and I have grown up with the 
perpetual mention of Hezbollah. There are those who think that 
Hezbollah is something that has been around for a long time, but I 
point out today that Hezbollah is actually younger than the mullah 
regime; that, in fact, the mullah regime created Hezbollah; and 
Hezbollah has the unique distinction of being one of a very few 
terrorist entities that has actually killed human beings on every 
single inhabited continent on planet Earth.
  No trade with Iran, no money to the IRGC; no money to the IRGC, no 
money to Hezbollah; no money to Hezbollah, we have self-determination 
in Lebanon, we have less of an oppressive interference in Iraq, we have 
more stability in Syria, and we have freedom in Iran. Enough is enough.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues for standing with me today, and I 
ask the American people and my colleagues to take the time to inform 
themselves about places like Isfahan and Karaj and Tabriz and Mashhad, 
and to think about the women and men who have the courage to walk 
through the threshold of a door of a home where, when they leave, they 
know full well they may very well not come back.
  The time is now, the cause is just, the mullah regime must go. Enough 
is enough.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Curtis).

                              {time}  1715

  Mr. CURTIS. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Garrett for his 
leadership on this issue and for arranging this today.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to take a few minutes to express my concern about 
the way the Government of Iran has trampled on the rights of its people 
to express their discontent with the current regime, which has resulted 
in at least 21 deaths and more than 450 arrests. It is, quite frankly, 
disturbing the way the Iranian Government has used its military might 
to show an unacceptable and a disproportionate amount of force to quell 
and to attempt to control protests.
  Additionally, Iran's judiciary has disregarded the rights of 
protesters to express themselves and to peacefully assemble, by 
threatening harsh punishments. I have read reports that the

[[Page H68]]

government has blocked the Internet and social media services which, I 
believe, constitutes a violation of fundamental rights of free speech.
  People in Iran are suffering. Their economy is stagnant, and their 
wages aren't keeping up with the costs of living. People are hungry, 
and they have grown weary of a radical and a corrupt regime set on 
sponsoring terrorism and pursuing an ill-advised plan for nuclear 
capabilities rather than focusing on improving the lives and stability 
of the people and their nation.
  The people of Iran were hopeful that Iran would see some relief from 
the sanctions and would see economic improvement after their government 
entered into a deal in 2015 regarding its nuclear program. But because 
of widespread corruption and failed economic policies of Iran's 
Government, as well as its failure to live up to its commitments to the 
international community, Iran's people have only continued to suffer 
from poverty, high unemployment, and inflation.
  It should be no surprise to the leadership of Iran that its people 
are calling for change because of its failure and poor leadership that 
have led the people to protest.
  Mr. Speaker, I stand with those protesters in Iran who have lost 
faith in their increasingly failed government. They deserve a country 
that ensures their freedom to express disapproval. They deserve a 
government with equality and justice, to improve the lives of Iranians.
  Although Iran's Government may, by force, ultimately be successful in 
putting an end to these public protests, this dissatisfaction with the 
regime will continue. I hope that someday the people of Iran will see 
the freedom and the kind of leadership they seek and they deserve.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend, Mr. Garrett, for 
organizing this on this important topic.
  Today, we passed several bills about Iran. One was H. Res. 676, 
calling out the Iranian regime to stop suppressing and oppressing their 
citizens who just want those things that are innate to all human beings 
on this planet, that we believe in as Americans, and that are those 
inalienable rights that come from our Creator: life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness.
  The Iranian people are staging legitimate protests to condemn the 
Iranian regime for corruption of the economy and funding of terrorist 
organizations while neglecting the basic needs of the Iranian citizens, 
only to have their protests in opposition of the corruption by the 
Iranian regime be shut down and crushed through unwarranted 
bloodshedding and arrests.
  If you look at the Iranian regime over the last 30 years since they 
took control of Iran, it has been nothing but bloodshed and mayhem. And 
if you look at the conflicts that we have been involved in in the 
Middle East since the entry of Afghanistan and the Iraqi wars, if you 
look at our servicemen and -women who have been harmed in those battles 
or injured or died, 70 percent of those were caused by IEDs. Ninety 
percent of those IEDs were supported and produced by the Iranian 
  The people of Iran stood up in 2009. The administration of the United 
States at that time refused to back the Iranian people who wanted those 
basic rights that we just talked about: freedoms and liberties.
  Our Nation was founded on the idea that every individual is granted 
three basic rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And 
again, we, as Americans, believe in these inalienable rights. I find it 
appalling that the Iranian regime is using deadly force in order to 
deny the Iranian people their basic freedoms.
  We are in the 21st century in the world, and you see a clear divide: 
the Western ideologies that believe in these God-given rights that we 
have, and then you see the regimes and dictatorships around the world 
that are suppressing the very innate abilities that we are all born 
with. They are trying to suppress these innate abilities. By doing 
that, they do it through intimidation, coercion, torture, death.
  The leader of the IRGC came out in a statement, and it is in Ed 
Royce's resolution that we voted on today, H. Res. 676, that said they 
will investigate it, they will bring it to an end, and they will quash 
these protests and it will be done with. So that is the intent of the 
Iranian regime, to bring this to an end through force because they fear 
free-thinking people.
  We are so blessed in our country of having the ability to speak out, 
to be able to protest peacefully, to assemble peacefully; and that is 
something I think sometimes we, as Americans, take for granted. This is 
something that all you have to do is look at what is going on around 
the world to see a despotic regime that is afraid of empowering its 
  The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, must be recognized for 
what he is: the dictator of an oppressive regime which once again 
showed the world its true colors by its horrific response to the 
peaceful and legitimate protests that began on December 28, that saw 
thousands in prisons, with the leaders being threatened with death, and 
over two dozen having been killed.
  I want to send the message that we, the United States, support the 
rights of those brave Iranians who are peacefully protesting the 
oppressive Iranian regime; and they are peacefully protesting, again, 
for the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

  Again, I want to thank Mr. Garrett for putting this on and thank him 
for allowing me to participate.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Rothfus).
  Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Garrett for organizing this 
Special Order today to shed light on what has been going on in Iran not 
just the last couple of weeks, but, really, since 1979.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak out for the good people of Iran 
who are protesting against an oppressive regime that has imposed 
tyranny on them for nearly four decades. Scores of people have been 
arrested and some killed for daring to speak out against their 
  Mr. Speaker, they have good cause. For far too long, the 
authoritarian terrorists of Tehran have pursued an aggressive military 
buildup and a massive police state that oppresses its people.
  Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, their leaders have chosen 
global and regional conflict instead of promoting a healthy domestic 
economy and peaceful relations with their regional neighbors. I could 
spend a long time highlighting the litany of basic human rights 
violations of the regime as well, but the Iranian Government's 
malfeasance, public corruption, and betrayal to their citizenry needs 
to be brought to light on the world stage.
  Mr. Speaker, as recently as last year, in the State Department's 
annual Country Reports on Terrorism, Iran was once again identified as 
the foremost state sponsor of terror. The crime and terror Iran spreads 
are conducted at the expense of ordinary Iranians whose taxes go 
everywhere but to themselves and their prosperity.
  The unemployment rate is over 12 percent, according to the World 
Bank, and youth unemployment is staggeringly high. And all of this, 
despite Iran being rich in natural resources and having potential for 
having a great economy.
  Two years ago, the U.S. entered a deal in hopes of encouraging a more 
peaceful Iran, not to mention passing along billions in direct cash 
payments to them.
  Furthermore, if that wasn't enough, it has been recently reported 
that the Department of Justice, under President Obama, abandoned a 
massive international narcotics investigation against one of Iran's 
international terrorist clients, Hezbollah, just to not upset the 
Iranian regime during the negotiation of the nuclear deal.
  That is right, Mr. Speaker. Hezbollah is not just in the global 
terror business; it is a transnational criminal organization that is a 
major global drug trafficker, including right here in the Western 
Hemisphere and Latin America.
  For anyone who has not read the recent article in Politico Magazine, 
titled, ``The Secret Backstory of How Obama Let Hezbollah Off the 
Hook,'' it is worth your time. You will learn how Hezbollah is 
operating throughout Latin America and, indeed, facilitating the 
transfer of drugs into this country.
  Despite all of their contrition and dealmaking, the Iranian regime 

[[Page H69]]

not changed. This perilous regime is still exporting and smuggling 
weapons to its clients in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. 
Hezbollah and Iran continue to threaten Israel, among other nations, 
and are still a destabilizing force throughout the Middle East.
  After all of the Iranian regime's terror, crime, and corruption, do 
you think the Iranian people would have benefited from this?
  Mr. Speaker, all you have to do is turn on the TV to see the Iranian 
people's answer, and it is obvious that they have had enough. This kind 
of tyranny does not belong anywhere, especially in the 21st century.
  The everyday people in Iran want the same thing the average American 
wants: freedom to live without fear of their government, to live and 
work in peace, to be with their loved ones, and to worship as they see 
  The good people of Iran are standing up to tyranny, and we should 
stand with them. I want those protesters seeking freedom from 
oppression to know that we are with them, that the American people are 
with them.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Garrett, again, for organizing this Special 
Order on this very important topic.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from North 
Carolina (Mr. Budd).
  Mr. BUDD. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Garrett) for organizing this in support of those protesters in Iran. It 
is the ongoing protests that started late last month in Iran that are 
significant not just for their people, but also for the world.
  While these protests started because of a dire economic situation in 
Iran, with upwards of 40 percent of its youth unemployed, it has grown 
to be a nationwide movement that is about much more than just the 
  Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen the Iranian people flood 
the streets in favor of fundamental freedoms, economic opportunity, and 
a government that represents their interests, not Hezbollah's. There 
are even reports of people chanting, ``We don't want an Islamic 
Republic,'' or, ``We will die, but we will take Iran back.''
  This has been a long time coming. A State Department report in 2016 
found that Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism in the whole 
world. Whether it is providing financial support to Hezbollah or 
providing arms to Islamic rebel groups in Yemen, the Iranian 
Government's priorities are obviously more focused on wreaking 
international havoc than they are on addressing the pressing issues 
within their own country.
  And while we are talking about issues with Iran, the protesters are 
pleading for fundamental freedoms. For example, married women aren't 
even allowed to travel outside the country without permission from 
their husbands. They also risk being put in jail or even to death if 
they take off their hijab in public.
  But brave women throughout Iran have been unmasking themselves during 
the last couple of weeks in protest. To many in our country, this may 
seem insignificant, but videos of these women and their courage have 
been shared millions and millions of times around the globe.

  Mr. Speaker, those who dislike President Trump have criticized his 
approach to foreign policy, but these same people fail to praise his 
strong defense for freedom when it comes to Iran.
  As soon as the protests started, President Trump put out a statement 
that said the Iranian people are hungry for food and for freedom. He 
also said that it is time for a change, and I couldn't agree with him 
  This is the opposite of the Obama administration that preached moral 
authority and, yet, sided with the corrupt Iranian regime and the 
corrupt Iranian Government when anti-regime protesters took to the 
streets back in 2009.
  So now that President Trump has proven his credibility on the global 
stage by siding with the protesters, the question is: Now, where do we 
go from here?
  Well, Mr. Speaker, first we should increase the sanctions on the 
Iranian Government in response to their crackdown on protesters for 
freedom in recent weeks.
  President Trump should also strongly consider pulling out of the 
nuclear deal that was struck by President Obama in 2015.

                              {time}  1730

  We have already seen the Iranian Government break parts of the 
agreement, and we should have a zero tolerance for these breaks because 
the consequences are just too grave.
  Mr. Speaker, the people of Iran are bravely speaking out against 
their government and they are calling for change. For the United States 
to continue to be a shining example of freedom and liberty, we must 
continue to vocalize our support for these protesters in Iran and make 
sure that they know that we have their back.
  Again, I thank my colleague, Mr. Garrett from Virginia.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from North Carolina 
(Mr. Budd) for his remarks.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. 
  Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Virginia for yielding.
  I want the folks in Iran to know that the United States of America 
stands with the people of Iran. As a closed society, I doubt they will 
hear our words here tonight, but they should know that, in our hearts, 
in our prayers, and in our thoughts, we have the people of Iran and 
their best wishes in mind.
  I have been here for 7 years in Congress, and during that 7 years, 
Iran keeps coming up to the forefront; whether it is the Obama 
administration's failed Iranian nuclear deal, which is coming up for 
authorization--I think on the 19th of this month, the 15th, the 19th--
or if it is the protests, and since I have been in Congress, this is 
the second round of uprising protest against the Government within 
  Now, the dichotomy is the Obama administration ignored the people in 
Iran. But the Trump administration has told the people in Iran: We 
stand with you against an oppressive government.
  Iran keeps coming up even in a Politico magazine article. They had a 
well-sourced account of an alleged Obama administration scandal last 
month. This prompted review by the Department of Justice and interest 
by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
  The article alleges the Obama administration restrained classified 
efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration to shut down an 
international criminal operation, Hezbollah. Now, Hezbollah, based in 
Lebanon, is a proxy of Iran. And when you hear Hezbollah, you might as 
well think Iran. They are one and the same.
  So I am deeply troubled by the idea that President Obama's motivation 
was getting past by any means necessary his failed Iranian deal. He 
could not get anything in the way of that legacy.
  Now, if this article is true, President Obama is more concerned about 
passing his agenda item opposed by Members of both parties and a 
majority of the American people than protecting the safety of the 
American people. We all know about the pallets of cash that were given 
to Iran. Now, they could have spent it on their economy. They could 
have paid down debt. They could have done anything, but I would bet 
that the largest state sponsor of terrorism, the country of Iran, used 
the bulk of that money to continue funding terrorist operations around 
the globe.
  The number one recipient of Iranian help is Hezbollah. Now, let me 
bring you a little bit closer to home. In 2012, I authored a bill 
called Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012, signed 
into law by President Obama, directing the State Department to actually 
do an in-depth study into the Iranian activities in the Western 
Hemisphere, specifically, South America.
  They did a halfway limp-wristed report that even the 2014 GAO 
reported only 2 of the 12 requirements mandated in that law were fully 
addressed. The Obama administration acted in complete disregard to the 
law. Six others of my legislation were only partially addressed; four 
were not addressed at all. Meanwhile, the activity of Hezbollah in the 
Western Hemisphere continued, and it is continuing today.
  There is an area in South America known as the tri-border region. It 
is where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay all come 
together. Some would even say it is a lawless act area.

[[Page H70]]

  It is controlled by elements of Hezbollah. And two acts of terror 
happened in Argentina, in Buenos Aires. The 1994 bombing of the AMIA 
Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires was the single-largest loss of 
life from an act of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere prior to 9/11, 
believed to be hatched in the tri-border region by elements of Iran and 
  It was sort of swept under the rug by the Argentine Government of 
Cristina Kirchner. But there was a brave individual, a special 
prosecutor named Alberto Nisman, who took this on his own to say: We 
know what happened at the AMIA. We know Iran was involved.
  He set out to prove it. He compiled massive amounts of data. And the 
morning before he was scheduled to testify in front of the Argentine 
Congress about his findings, implicating the Kirchner regime for hiding 
some of this because they wanted to coddle up to Iran--they wanted 
Iran's help. They wanted to sell Iran nuclear technology, I believe. 
They wanted Iran's help with money.
  The morning before Alberto Nisman was going to implicate the Kirchner 
regime for the AMIA bombing and hiding the facts from the Argentine 
people and the world with regard to Iran's activities in that AMIA 
bombing in 1994, Alberto Nisman was assassinated in his apartment, even 
though he had multiple security personnel guarding him. Shot behind the 
  Now, the Kirchner regime tried to say that that was suicide. There 
was no gunpowder on his hands. And it has now been proven that it was 
not suicide, that it was an assassination, possibly by elements of Iran 
as well.
  I say all that to let the folks listening tonight here in America and 
around the world know that Iran isn't just in the area in the Middle 
East known as Persia. They have elements, like Hezbollah, that are 
operating globally. Iran has said that they want to wipe the Big Satan 
and the Little Satan, Israel and the United States, off the map. They 
don't have our best interest at heart.
  But as a free people here in the United States of America, I can tell 
you that we have the best interest of the Iranian people at heart. When 
we stand on this floor and we talk about the uprising, the protests 
that are going on in Iran now, we have the best interest of the Iranian 
people at heart, because we don't stand to benefit in any way for us 
standing up for freedom, for folks who want self-government, for folks 
who want less oppression, who want some say-so in their livelihood and 
how their government operates. That is what the Iranian people are 
talking about in these protests.
  So, unfortunately, the Obama administration and the State Department 
did not take the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act very 
seriously. But Iran is here. They have opened cultural centers and 
embassies in Latin America. I don't know the number right off, but they 
continue to be more involved here closer to home. There are no cultural 
ties, very limited economic ties between Iran and Latin America. So you 
have to question yourself as to why the Persians are here.
  You have to be aware that Iran is the largest state sponsor of 
terrorism with billions--hundreds of billions of dollars that we 
released to them, pallet-loads of cash that could find their way into 
terrorist organizations that don't have America's interest at heart.
  So I want to thank the gentleman from Virginia for giving us an 
opportunity tonight to focus on Iran; to focus on its proxy, Hezbollah; 
to focus on primarily the Iranian people in their quest for more 
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from South Carolina 
(Mr. Duncan) for his remarks.
  Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 21 minutes remaining.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend, Mr. Garrett for 
  It is important that we discuss what has been going on in Iran. I 
recall I was on Active Duty in the United States Army back when 
President Carter stood by and basically encouraged the taking out of 
the Shah of Iran. No prince according to his own conduct, but he made a 
statement welcoming the Ayatollah Khomeini back to Iran as what he 
called him, I believe it was a man of peace. He could not have been 
more wrong.
  There has been less peace because the Ayatollah Khomeini took over a 
state government, a national government, and a powerful military than 
any time since World War II. They have been the largest state sponsor 
of terrorism. They have, we have been told, probably provided most of 
the IEDs that have killed and maimed Americans fighting for freedom in 
the Middle East, especially in Iraq.
  They have worked to stir up trouble all over the Middle East, north 
Africa, and have created massive mayhem, and they are looking to do 
even more. And with the $100 billion or more that President Obama sent 
to Iran, they have been able to make more IEDs to kill more Americans, 
create more havoc, and stir up more sentiment against the United States 
since that unconstitutional sending under a treaty that was never 
ratified was done by the last administration.
  Some have blamed President Trump for the problems in Iran. That is a 
bit ridiculous. The problems are the radical Islamist leadership in 
Iran. In fact, the same people that would like to blame President Trump 
are some of the same ones who hailed the $100 billion sent under a 
treaty that was never ratified that would be used to kill innocent 
people around the world, including Americans.
  The people of Iran are to be congratulated for saying: Enough is 
  There is a great article from Commentary magazine titled: ``What the 
Iran Protests Have Already Achieved.''
  Sohrab Ahmari says: ``More than 1,700 arrests and at least two dozen 
deaths later, the Tehran regime seems to have suppressed Iran's latest 
mass uprising. Scattered protests and skirmishes continue nationwide, 
according to the citizen-journalists who, braving regime violence, 
continued to post footage on social media. But for now, the 
demonstrations don't seem to be growing in numbers or frequency. Yet 
outside observers tempted to write off the movement should recall that 
the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Shah began decades 
earlier. There were lulls through the years, which tempted President 
Carter at one point to describe the Shah's Iran as an `island of 
stability' in the Middle East.
  ``Whatever the ultimate outcome, however, the protesters have already 
accomplished a great deal and shattered many myths in the West. Let's 
review their achievements:
  ``First, the Iran protests showed that the people are not rallying to 
the regime under the press of President Trump's hawkish rhetoric.''

                              {time}  1745

  ``Far from being `swept up in a wave of nationalist fervor,' as The 
New York Times' Thomas Erdbrink reported a few weeks before the 
uprising, Iranians still detest their corrupt, repressive regime. As my 
colleague''--and this is the author, Mr. Ahmari, speaking--``Noah 
Rothman has noted on our podcasts, Americans have an almost religious 
conviction that world events revolve around the U.S. and specifically 
the White House. To be sure, America remains the most important Nation 
on the world stage. Yet the average Iranian doesn't wake up in the 
morning cursing Donald Trump for trying to undo the nuclear deal. More 
likely, he curses the fact that he can't even afford eggs to feed his 
children, and there are more proximate actors whom he blames for that: 
namely, the mullahs.
  ``Second, the uprising revealed, once and for all, that Iranian 
President Hassan Rouhani has been no moderate, and that the reformer 
versus hardliner distinction is meaningless. Ever since he came to 
power, Rouhani has been the subject of adulation among members of the 
Western foreign policy establishment. The media attached the `moderate' 
and `reformer' labels to Rouhani on the night of his first election, in 
June 2013, and refused to remove them even as evidence mounted that he 
was no such thing. There was Rouhani's leading role in the violent 
repression of the 1999 student uprising; his support for the post-2009 
crackdown; his long record of anti-American rhetoric (`the

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beautiful cry of ``Death to America'' unites our nation'); his 
decidedly immoderate cabinet; his work overseeing Iran's campaign of 
assassinations targeting dissidents abroad; and much else of the kind.
  ``But now Iranians themselves are plainly telling the West that 
Rouhani is no moderate. Their slogans--`Not Gaza; Not Lebanon; My Life 
Only for Iran' and `Let Syria Be; Do Something for Me'--are a reminder 
that Tehran has continued to underwrite terror and bloodshed across the 
Middle East during the 4-plus years of Rouhani's Presidency. The people 
have also been chanting, `Reformists; Hardliners; the Whole Game is 
Over.' Let's hope the same realization soon dawns in Washington and 
  ``Third, the protesters put the lie to the Obama administration's 
claims about the 2015 nuclear deal. Remember when senior Obama 
officials reassured Americans that Iran would use the sanctions relief 
under Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to improve the lots of 
its people? Here is how Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew put it in an 
April 2015 address: `Many Americans, and many of our closest allies, 
are understandably concerned that Iran will use the money it receives 
as a result of sanctions relief to fund terrorism and support 
destabilizing proxies throughout the Middle East. We share those 
concerns, and we are committed to maintaining sanctions that address 
these activities, even after Iran takes the steps required to get 
relief from nuclear sanctions. But it is important to note that the 
connection between nuclear sanctions relief and Iran's other malign 
activities is complicated, and most of the money Iran receives from 
sanctions relief will not be used to support those activities.' ''
  I would interject here he had absolutely, 100 percent, no basis for 
making such ridiculous statements.
  ``Two months later, Colin Kahl, a National Security Advisor to then-
Vice President Joe Biden, told the Truman Center: `It is our assessment 
. . . that the Iranians are not going to spend the vast majority of the 
money on guns. Most of it will go to butter.' ''
  I would insert here he had no basis whatsoever for making such 
  The article said: ``Millions of jobless and impoverished Iranians now 
beg to differ. It turns out that the regime was happy to spend the 
JCPOA''--the Iran treaty that was never ratified--``funds on Hezbollah, 
Hamas, the Yemeni Houthis, and other nasties, even if that meant 
Iranians would go hungry. And those hungry people aren't mistaken about 
the roots of their hunger. Iran remains the world's top state sponsor 
of terror, according to the U.S. State Department. Deal opponents 
warned of this, only to be brushed aside by Obama and his media allies. 
The Trump administration now has an opportunity to correct course, by 
walking away from Obama's bad deal. The American people are under no 
obligation to finance Iran's terrorist statecraft.
  ``The mullahs would have no one to blame but themselves. The Iranian 
people, defeated but unbowed, are sure to have another day.''
  So, Mr. Speaker, let me just add here: God bless President Donald J. 
Trump for recognizing the Iranian treaty for the horrible deal it was 
and is to peace in our time. He paid for war, he paid for terrorism, 
and it is time to stop it.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Gohmert), who is my good friend, for speaking.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, it is my honor to participate in this 
message to the Iranian people tonight and also a message that we will 
deliver to the American people as well. To those brave souls who are 
now in the streets to oppose the mullah dictatorship that now governs 
Iran, we send you this message: We are with you. We are thinking of 
you. You are within our vision. We are siding with you against tyranny. 
Do not think you are alone. The American people, our hearts and our 
souls, are with you; and, yes, we are proud of our President for making 
sure the world knows that we are officially on the side of those people 
who are struggling in the streets of Tehran, as we speak, to make sure 
that the mullah dictatorship is overthrown and replaced by a democratic 
  These people have a right to democratic government just the same as 
anyone else. We talked about it in our Declaration of Independence. We 
talked about rights that are given by God to every individual, and that 
government only has those powers that are granted to it by the consent 
of the governed.
  Yes, we had our own revolution. Remember, the French helped us in 
that revolution. The French helped us win our freedom. We owe that to 
people who have helped us win our freedom to side with people who are 
struggling in Iran today and against other radical Islamic 
dictatorships today to help them create a more democratic society.
  In fact, as I look around in this Hall tonight, I see that there are 
only two pictures on the floor of the House. One is George Washington, 
and one is Marquis de Lafayette. Look into Lafayette's eyes. This is a 
picture of a man who came to us 50 years after our revolution and was 
the ultimate American hero for helping us win our freedom. Are there 
tears in his eyes tonight? No. But there were tears in his eyes in the 
picture of Lafayette when we sided with the mullah regime during the 
last administration when we actually cut a deal with the mullahs 
keeping them in power, not giving any support to those who were 
struggling for democracy in order to give them $1 billion to get them 
to go along and sign up for a bogus arms treaty.
  Now, this President of the United States today has left those 
policies behind. We are proud of this President for what he is doing, 
and we send this message to the American people: We will stand for 
freedom, and we will be safe. If we cower and we don't support those 
people struggling for freedom throughout the world, we will not be 
  Nowhere is that more evident than in the streets of Tehran tonight.
  People of Iran, we are with you, just as the French were with us when 
we won our freedom. We will make this a better world, we will make it a 
safer world for all people who believe in any type of democratic, open 
  The mullah regime must be overthrown but by its own people, and we 
must be true to those patriots who established our own country by 
supporting those who are struggling for freedom in Iran.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I will conclude. If we were to spend 5 
minutes on each of the individuals murdered by the Iranian regime since 
that regime took power some 39 years ago, we would be here 24/7 for 
over a year. If we were to name each country and spend 1 day where Iran 
and their proxies, such as Hezbollah, have taken human life, we would 
literally be here for months, 1 day per country.
  Mr. Yoho articulated basic concepts of natural law, that people are 
endowed by their Creator with fundamental rights to include the right 
to life, the right to freedom, and the right to pursue happiness.
  Mr. Duncan, Mr. Rothfus, and Mr. Rohrabacher spoke to the JCPOA, and 
the circumstances surrounding it, how our Nation turned its back on the 
multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise wholly subsidized by Iran that 
is Hezbollah, making a bad deal, ignoring trafficking of deadly 
narcotics throughout the world and, indeed, in our own country to get a 
worse deal.
  I stand with my colleagues who renounce the JCPOA, and I would point 
out that it is my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the broad 
bipartisan opposition to the JCPOA, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of 
Action, which I have referred to repeatedly, and only somewhat 
jokingly, as the ``Joint Comprehensive Piece of Something, JCPOS.''
  But if you want to see the JCPOA go away, the best way to do that is 
to empower the people of Iran to empower themselves, and that is why I 
thank my colleagues, one and all, for standing with me here today to 
speak loudly and clearly. Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that people 
watching at home will take to social media where the youth of Iran have 
fomented this revolution, that hashtags such as #freeiran, 
#iranprotests and #iran will pick up steam, that the world can 
communicate with those who risk their very lives to assert their basic, 
fundamental, and Creator-granted rights of

[[Page H72]]

life, liberty, and the right to pursue happiness by showing them that 
we support them.
  Mr. Speaker, I would point out that Mr. Gohmert so articulately spoke 
to the role of Rouhani in Iran and the fawning Western media that 
speaks to his role as a moderate. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Rouhani, quite 
literally, represents the mullahs, and so, as such, that would be as if 
suggesting that Mr. Goering or Mr. Goebbels was a moderate Nazi. There 
is nothing moderate about the leadership of this regime.
  So with this, I conclude: Americans have been killed by Iran or its 
proxies in this country, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Kenya, and in 
Tanzania. People have given their lives at the hands of Iran in 
Australia, Argentina, Syria, Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom, in 
Tanzania, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. It is time 
for this to end. Enough is enough.
  I would quote Edmund Burke: ``All that is necessary for evil to 
triumph is for good men to do nothing.''
  This time we will not stand idly by. Enough is enough.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.