The bipartisan United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has published a report on the state of religious persecution in various countries. Some of those singled out were Iran, which has imprisoned Christians for their beliefs; Egypt, where Coptic Orthodox Christians are under attack; and North Korea, an oppressive communist dictatorship which was also rated #1 for the 12th straight year on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries that persecute Christians.
The report hinted at the necessity of sanctions, pointing out that the Obama administration just approved a shipment of military helicopters to Egypt. It could have refused in order to pressure the Egyptian government to stop participating (yes, participating) in the oppression of Coptic Christians there.
Saudi Arabia, where no places of worship for non-Muslim religions exist at all, was also given tacit approval for its actions. President Obama made no mention of rampant human rights violations on his recent visit there, despite being petitioned by 70 Congressional members to do so beforehand.
Regarding Iran, a repeat offender who has “only gotten worse,” a member of the commission said:
“By not utilizing an existing legislative tool, the United States risks sending the message that it prefers a nuclear deal to standing up for the rights of the Iranian people.”