My Senator, Marco Rubio, is currently in Libya as part of the first Congressional delegation to visit since the Qadafi regime was deposed. Senator Rubio has been speaking out more in foreign policy topics recently and yesterday, National Review posted his op-ed on the subject of religious and political oppression in Iran.
Rubio highlights the plight of a Christian pastor named Yousef Nardarkhani, who is facing execution for abandoning Islam and refusing to recant his Christian faith:
…In free and civilized societies, the freedom to practice one’s religion is a fundamental right. Once again, Iran’s government is proving to the world, and to the Iranian people, that it will spare no means to suppress their God-given right to freely express their ideas and worship.
As history has proven, countries that do not respect the rights of their citizens seldom respect the rights of their neighbors. The Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for its own citizens should raise alarms about its behavior in the region and the world should its illicit nuclear program be allowed to go on unchecked.
America’s commitment to the universal rights of man requires us to clearly speak out against their violations wherever they make occur. I urge the administration to relentlessly call for an immediate and unconditional release for Pastor Nadarkhani.
I applaud Senator Rubio for taking a stand on this issue and hope that others in our government join him.
[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah]