Ranking Member Smith Statement on Iran Elections

Washington D.C. – Ranking Member Smith released the following statement in response to the recent elections in Iran:

March 3, 2016

“Iran just conducted its first elections since agreeing to the multilateral deal to give up its nuclear weapons program.  While it is true that the Islamic Republic of Iran determines who may run for election, it is also true that the Iranian people turned out in large numbers to support candidates who backed the nuclear deal and want improved relations with the rest of the world.

“To be clear, we have very serious differences with the Iranian regime. The conduct of the recent elections is deeply concerning due to the lack of transparency, censorship concerns, and limited freedom of expression and assembly. Furthermore, Iran's active state sponsorship of terror continues to threaten Israel and to destabilize the region. Moving forward Iran must cease all support to terrorist groups.

“The path forward with Iran will see challenging and uncertain times.  That said, we must not ignore the positive voices in Iran.  These elections do not reflect a revolutionary change in the regime, but they do show that millions of Iranians support progress and that many of them want a brighter, more constructive future for their country. Iran’s leaders must give their people the freedom they so clearly desire. 

“Despite our many disagreements with the Iranian regime, the elections show that our disputes do not, by definition, extend to the Iranian people. I hope that the Iranian government will see the strong desire for reform, be responsive to the will of the Iranian people, and formulate policies that create a better future for Iranians, the region, and the world.”