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Protests in Iran

4:29 PM, Feb 11, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Guardian has extensive coverage of the protests in Iran today, and Reuel Marc Gerecht has an op-ed in the New York Times that's not to be missed.

Also, Senator Lieberman talks to Radio Free Europe about a bill he's introduced with Senator McCain to target human rights abusers in Iran, while Senators Brownback and Cornyn introduce a bill to help aid the democratic dissidents in the Islamic Republic. From a press release on the Brownback-Cornyn bill would do:

Declarations of Policy.  The bill states that U.S. policy towards Iran should be:
·       to fully and publicly support efforts of the Iranian people to oppose and remove the current regime and transition to a freely elected, open, and democratic government in Iran;

·       to deny the current regime the ability to:

·       Continue to oppress the people of Iran;
·       Interfere with the internal affairs of its neighbors, including Iraq and Afghanistan;
·       Finance or support terrorist organizations;
·       Develop weapons of mass destruction and the associated delivery systems.  
 
U.S. Assistance for Democratic Opposition Groups.  The bill authorizes the President to support a transition to democracy in Iran by providing non-military assistance to Iranian democratic opposition organizations, as well as humanitarian assistance to victims of the current regime.  
 
Creation of Special Envoy for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran.  The bill creates the position of “Special Envoy for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran,” which would hold the rank of Ambassador, to coordinate U.S. efforts for the promotion and support of democracy and human rights in Iran.  
 
Exploration of Regional Framework on Human Rights.  The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. should explore the possibility of a multilateral and regional initiative to protect human rights, modeled after the Helsinki process established by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
 
Reports to Congress.  The bill would require the President to submit two reports to Congress: 1) detailing a clear plan for implementation of this act, and 2) following the establishment of a transitional government in Iran, detailing a comprehensive plan for U.S. support of the Iranian people during the transition period.

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