- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Only one word adequately describes the Clinton-Albright-Reno policy towards Iran: sick.

Ever since Mohammed Khatami became in August 1997 the powerless, so-called "moderate" president of this terrorist theocratic dictatorship, the Clinton administration has pursued a policy of shameless appeasement with no result. Horrifying violations of human rights, fully documented, by Iran's mullahs have been effectively ignored by the Clinton administration.

The most recent example of such appeasement is the imprisonment in an Alabama rural jail and now to a jail in Virginia, of an Iranian woman, Mahraz Samadi, 35, by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) which intends to deport her to Iran and certain death. Ms. Samadi, a political refugee from her native land and a human rights advocate, was granted political asylum in the United States in 1995, having spent four years in an Iranian prison. Two of her brothers were executed and both her parents died of grief shortly thereafter.

On July 4, it will be exactly three months that Ms. Samadi will have been in solitary confinement in three different jails awaiting a hearing. This human rights champion will celebrate Independence Day behind bars in Riverside Regional Jail, in Hopewell, Va.

Aroused by this act of injustice, 62 members of the House of Representatives have just sent off a letter of protest to Attorney General Janet Reno pointing out the blatant idiocy of one of the INS charges against her: that she was engaged in planning I am quoting from the official INS charges "coordinated attacks designed to liberate Iran." Therefore, charges the INS, Ms. Samadi is a danger to "national security."

The House letter, which demands Ms. Samadi's immediate release, charges that the Clinton administration is seeking her deportation because of "her political opposition to the Iranian regime."

"Given the Iranian regime's record of crimes against humanity," said the House statement, "it is the right of the Iranian people, including Ms. Samadi, to resist their repressive rulers."

The House statement also charges that the INS is basing its case against Ms. Samadi "on misinformation, provided directly or indirectly by Tehran, in the case against her."

The Clinton administration has described the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran movement as a terrorist organization. In contrast, 28 senators and 220 House members, of both parties, have described it as a "legitimate resistance" organization to no avail.

The House statement was initiated by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, and Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat. In an accompanying letter to Miss Reno, they disclosed that a psychologist who visited Ms. Samadi in jail "viewed her continued detention as traumatic, and concluded it would aggravate her condition as a former prisoner of conscience and torture victim. He stressed the need for her immediate release." Two delegations of congressional aides who visited Ms. Samadi have reported that "she is being badly treated and denied her rights."

Among House signatories from both sides of the aisle are: Tom Campbell, William Clay, Christopher Cannon, Martin Frost, William Jenkins, Deborah Pryce, James Talent, Edolphus Towns and Mel Watt.



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