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ALM Special

Where does Congress stand on Iran one year after the Mahsa Amini protests?

Members of both parties in Congress are critical of Iran’s crackdown against protesters, though there is disagreement over President Joe Biden’s approach towards Iran, including with regards to a recent prisoner exchange.
U.S. Capitol Building on May 30, 2023 in Washington, DC. Later today the House Rules Committee will meet to consider The Fiscal Responsibility Act, a bill made after a deal House Republicans and U.S. President Joe Biden's negotiators struck up to raise the debt ceiling until 2025. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A year after the start of protests in Iran, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, the US Congress has become more emboldened in its opposition to the Islamic Republic.

While Republicans and Democrats in Congress are divided on some aspects of Iran policy, particularly in regard to several recent actions by President Joe Biden's administration, recent legislative activity, however, indicates broad opposition to the Iranian government in both parties and supports for the protesters.

‘Degrees of hard-line’

Amini was a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died in police custody in Iran on Sept. 16, 2022, after members of the morality police arrested her for improperly wearing the mandatory head covering for women and allegedly beat her with a baton, killing her. Amini's death unleashed massive and ongoing protests throughout Iran, and the government responded with a violent crackdown. The crackdown against the protests prompted Congress to take action as the one-year anniversary of Amini's death and the start of the large-scale protests approached.

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