WASHINGTON—Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), released the following statements upon reports of results in the Iran Presidential election.
“I am deeply dismayed by reports that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been declared the winner of the Iran Presidential election. It is apparent that the deep flaws in this so-called election began well before the Iranian people began voting,” Chairman Cardin said. “For Ahmadinejad and the ruling powers in Iran, it is clear that an ‘end justifies the means mentality’ prevails. There is no doubt whatsoever as to his unfitness as a leader. Regardless of the limited official scope of his duties, Ahmadinejad’s consistent pattern of noxious remarks and his belligerent attitude inject understandable tension around the Middle East and beyond. The fact that his apparent re-election has come through such an undemocratic election process underscores the danger the Iranian regime poses to the region and beyond.”
“President Ahmadinejad may have been re-elected but Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his supporters remain the real ruling power in Tehran. And the cost of keeping this regime in place is seen every day in the lack of freedom and opportunity the Iranian people so desperately deserve,” Co-Chairman Hastings said. “We must keep faith with those Iranian people who want to see a demonstrable change – in their economic opportunity and in their international image. It is time for Iran to turn the page on the past and respond positively to the call to reengage with the international community.”