WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, on Wednesday released the following statement on protests in Iran:

“Like all citizens, the people of Iran should have a right to demand better from their government when it comes to meeting basic needs like access to drinking water. I’m concerned about reports of security forces using violence against peaceful protestors and news of Internet outages across the country. The United States should stand with the people of Iran as they exercise their voices, and urge the Iranian government to actually listen to their citizens’ concerns rather than resorting to force,” said Murphy. “I also remain concerned about the impact of U.S. sanctions on the lives of everyday Iranians, which provides the regime with an all-too-easy scapegoat for their neglect.”

Earlier this year, Murphy and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) led their Senate colleagues in a letter to President Biden expressing the urgent need to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to peacefully and effectively stem the threat of Iran’s nuclear program. In the letter, the senators emphasized the importance of also addressing Iran’s taking of U.S. hostages as well as destabilization of the region through cyberattacks, support for militant groups, and ballistic missile development with similar urgency.