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Lieberman To RFE: U.S. Has 'Principled Responsibility' to Sanction Iranian Human Rights Abusers

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), 30Oct2009

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), 30Oct2009

(Washington, DC) In an exclusive interview, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) told RFE/RL that he is introducing legislation to expose and punish Iranian government officials involved in the crackdown on dissent since last year's elections.

[interview transcript and audio]

Lieberman said he, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and a "broad group" of Senators from both parties are introducing the bill in order to tell, "The Iranian government and the people of Iran...we see you, we hear you. In the case of the people of Iran, the protesters, we stand with you. In the case of the government, which is suppressing the people's rights, we are going to take action against you." \

Lieberman and McCain announced the legislation at a press conference held the same day as pro-democracy protesters were sprayed with tear gas and beaten by security forces during rallies marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

Lieberman said the U.S. has a "principled speak loudly" when a country "is violating the rights of its people, as Iran is today." He added that he thinks, "The fate of the Iranian regime...was sealed in the way it handled the people's protest after the unfair election last June."