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S.Res. 199 (110th): A resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari.

The text of the bill below is as of May 15, 2007 (Introduced).



1st Session

S. RES. 199


May 15, 2007

(for himself and Mrs. Clinton) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari.

Whereas Dr. Haleh Esfandiari is one of the United States most distinguished analysts of Iranian politics and is the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars;

Whereas Dr. Esfandiari is a dual citizen of Iran and the United States;

Whereas Dr. Esfandiari has served as a communications bridge between the United States and Iran, advocating diplomacy and dialogue;

Whereas Dr. Esfandiari travels to Iran twice a year to visit with her mother;

Whereas, in late December 2006, Dr. Esfandiari traveled to Iran to visit her ailing 93 year old mother for 1 week;

Whereas the current Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has initiated a crackdown on scholars and journalists including Dr. Esfandiari, Canadian-Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo, and journalist Parnaz Azima;

Whereas, on December 30, 2006, Dr. Esfandiari was robbed of her Iranian and American passports and travel documents at knife-point by 3 masked men on the way to the airport to return to the United States;

Whereas Dr. Esfandiari was held in Iran under house arrest for 4 months, interrogated under conditions of intimidation and threat, and, on May 8, 2007, was imprisoned in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran;

Whereas Dr. Esfandiari has been falsely accused by a news agency in Iran of being a spy for Mossad, of serving as the head of the Iran section of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and of encouraging an uprising against the regime in Tehran; and

Whereas senior government officials have conveyed the United States opposition to this unjustified imprisonment: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate—


condemns the arrest, interrogation, and imprisonment of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari as a deliberately provocative and illegal act;


deplores the continuing crackdown in Iran on journalists and scholars and the deliberate dissemination of misinformation regarding their activities; and


demands the immediate, safe, and unconditional release of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari from custody, the reissuance of appropriate travel documents for Dr. Esfandiari, and the provision of safe passage out of Iran.