The United States remains deeply concerned about multiple threats posed by the Iranian regime. In testimony before the U.S. Senate, Patricia McNerney, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, enumerated the harmful policies pursued by Iran:
"The radical regime in Tehran threatens regional and international security though its pursuit of technologies that would give it a nuclear weapons capability; obviously its support of terrorist groups and militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, its expansive regional ambitions, and its lack of respect for human rights and civil society."
In his testimony before the Senate, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, also commented on the regime’s human rights abuses. The Iranian government’s treatment of the Iranian people is "part of the challenge Iran poses to the world," he said:
"The regime’s record of human rights abuse remains abysmal and has only grown worse over the years. The regime regularly commits torture and other forms of inhumane treatment on its own people, and restricts the basic freedoms of expression, press, religion, and assembly."
The Iranian regime has purged liberal university professors, threatened and imprisoned dissidents, journalists, labor leaders, and women’s rights activists, noted Mr. Feltman. It has closed independent newspapers, confiscated satellite dishes, and harassed internet users – all in an effort to control access to information.
"We have grave problems with Tehran on a range of issues, but we have the greatest respect for the Iranian people," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Feltman. "The United States stands with the Iranian people in their struggle to advance democracy, freedom, and basic human rights of all citizens."