WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, issued the following statement. 

“This week, the United States imposed sanctions on Iranian officials for the abduction and probable death of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, officially confirming the Iranian government’s responsibility for his disappearance.  As co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, we are appalled by the Iranian government’s continued violations of the human rights of foreigners, dual nationals, and its own citizens.  

“In just the past few weeks, the Iranian government sent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh back to prison despite her poor health and COVID-19, and executed journalist Ruhollah Zam, who played an important role in supporting anti-regime protests in Iran three years ago.  Additionally, Siamak Namazi, an American-Iranian businessman, has been arbitrarily detained in Iran for over five years, and his father, Baquer, is barred from leaving the country.  

“These names are just a few in a long list of brave individuals who have had their fundamental rights and freedoms repeatedly violated by the Iranian government.  In addition to addressing Iran’s nuclear program, its ballistic missile tests, and its support for violent militant groups across the Middle East, the United States must be clear in condemning Iran’s human rights abuses.”