Thursday, October 31, 2019

McConnell: ‘The United States Should Stand With These Protestors’

October 31, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding global protests:

"I've spoken at length in recent weeks about the protests in Hong Kong and the situation in Syria. I'd like to close today by recognizing other important developments in the Middle East that regrettably haven't received much attention.

"Massive protests are currently underway in Lebanon and Iraq. Millions have taken to the streets to demand more responsive, more transparent, and less sectarian governance, and an end to rampant corruption.

"By all accounts, these protests are cross-sectarian, directed at an entire class of political leaders who have behaved undemocratically and unethically.

"The protests are also directed at Iran. The Islamic Republic has long sought, through proxies like Hizballah and Iraqi militias, to undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon and Iraq. Now even Shiite communities that have typically been heavily influenced by Iran are demanding politicians that represent their interests instead of Tehran's interests.

"Unsurprisingly, the Iranian regime is reportedly involved in violently suppressing peaceful protests in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and of course Iran itself. The mullahs are showing the same fear as the Chinese Communist Party. They're afraid of citizens demanding reform and speaking up for basic freedoms.

"The United States should stand with these protestors.

"The administration should use the tools at its disposal to expose corruption and foreign interference in these nations, impose consequences for violent crackdowns on peaceful protests, and work with the Lebanese and Iraqi leaders who are committed to doing right by their people."