May 14, 2020

Wyden, Rubio, Durbin and Boozman Introduce Resolution Condemning Repression of Iranian Baha’i

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and John Boozman, R-Ark., introduced a resolution condemning Iran’s government for persecuting the 300,000 members of the Baha’i faith.

“Iran’s repression of its Baha’i population and imprisonment of Baha’i religious leaders is despicable. This resolution sends the message that the U.S. must hold the Iranian regime accountable for the continued violation of religious and political freedom of those who peacefully practice the Baha’i faith,” Wyden said.

"As the Iranian regime continues to discriminate and arbitrarily detain members of the Baha'i community, Im proud to join this bipartisan effort that condemns Tehran’s persecution of this religious minorities,” Rubio said. “Free nations must come together to hold Iran accountable for their attacks on religious freedom.”

“The prolonged repression and religious persecution of the Baha’i community is an inexcusable violation of the fundamental human right of religious freedom,” said Durbin.  “This state-sponsored persecution must come to an end, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in standing with the Baha’i in their fight for equal rights and religious freedoms against the Iranian regime.”

“Iran’s Baha’i community deserves to be able to practice their religion without fear of consequences by the Iranian regime. We have an obligation to advocate for religious freedom and protect people around the world who are persecuted because of their beliefs,” Boozman said.

The Iranian Baha'i community is the largest religious minority in Iran with membership of more than 300,000 people. Unlike some other religious minorities such as Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, Iran's Baha'is have never been recognized by their government and are often persecuted by the Iranian regime.

The regime often seizes personal property, denies Baha'i access to education and employment opportunities and detains or imprisons Baha'is based solely on their religious beliefs. Over the past 10 years, about 850 Baha’is have been arbitrarily arrested in Iran. This resolution denounces the religious persecution and calls for the immediate release of all religious prisoners.

A copy of the resolution is available here