Recently John Baird made a historically and politically incorrect statement by referring to the PERSIAN GULF as the Arabian Gulf. The Iranian-Canadian community in Toronto was quick to speak out and voice their concerns, although Mr. Baird has not issued any corrections.

Recently I visited the Iranian Plaza in Toronto located on Yonge/Steels where I was pleasantly surprised to see this sign! While Mr. Baird may have thought that his comments are forgotten by the Iranian Community, they have not been forgotten and they will certainly be in the minds of the Iranian Canadian Community come election time...

Billionaire-Liberal and Political-Kingmaker George Soros wasted his money on John Kerry’s 2004 Presidential bid. However, he was not discouraged by this failed effort, as he had alternative plans to influence the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

In 2004, Soros hosted a meeting with the then Ambassador to the United Nations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Soros and Zarif talked about the possibility of a future “grand bargain” between Washington and Iran. In 2005, he arranged a meeting between Zarif and Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Senator John Kerry. So when Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif met Secretary of State Kerry in Geneva last September to discuss Iran’s nuclear programs, it was a meeting between well-acquainted friends.

Zarif has lived many years in the United States. In fact, he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at American colleges. He also has spent a good deal of time and energy recruiting admirers among America’s intelligentsia. He even approached me while I was the Senior Iran Political-Military analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Kerry, a Boston Mandarin, apparently has the ability to rise above the pedestrian politics of bilateral relations. His ego is not beyond imagining that he will arrange, with the help of his friend, Zarif, a “grand bargain” between the United States and Iran. But first, Kerry must find a way to finesse the issue of Iran’s drive for a nuclear weapon with its attendant ballistic military delivery system. This is a substantive obstacle, since Iran probably already has the capability to fashion a nuclear weapon. However, it may not yet be able to shape a warhead to “fit properly” on its missile nose-cone’s re-entry vehicle. But it just needs a bit more time for that.

Then there is the issue of Israel, the most likely recipient of the warhead should it come to that. Tel Aviv does not trust the Islamic Republic to abide by any agreement unless it dismantles its existing nuclear architecture. This includes its supply of enriched uranium, thousands of centrifuges which can produce even more, and various facilities critical to the development of its nuclear weaponry.

One might ask then, why should the U.S. Secretary of Defense trust Iran to abide by any agreement? Even if existing sanctions against Iran helped bring Tehran to the bargaining table, the Islamic Republic will remain at war against the United States. After all, the Islamic Republic was responsible directly or indirectly for a third of American military casualties in Iraq.

There is still the issue of Iran’s support for terrorists and destabilizing insurgencies around the world. Moreover, Tehran has sought to derail several attempts to negotiate a settlement of the Palestinian/Israeli enmity. Recently, this effort was highlighted by the Israeli interception of a shipload of weapons earmarked for radicals in the Gaza.

Most telling of all, how can any nation-state trust a regime that murders its own citizens at the most prolific rate of any society on earth. Since the “Smiling Mullah” Rouhani became President, over 400 Iranians, mostly young people have been executed. That is just the ones we know about. One should just Google the photos of bodies hanging from construction cranes in Tehran.

Nevertheless, Zarif like his President Rouhani, smiles a lot. Americans like that. He even somewhat obliquely has acknowledged the Holocaust and sent a Jewish New Year’s greeting to Israelis. Moreover, he speaks perfect English and his son and daughter were both born in the United States. Zarif is urbane, witty, and charming. And he is hip even using twitter. Too bad the rest of the Iranian people who use twitter have it filtered by Iran’s fundamentalist regime. What more can we ask for? It is certainly enough for Senator Kerry.

However, journalists should pose a few questions to the would-be Nobel Prize Winner Kerry:

(1) Can you describe the relationship you have had with Zarif prior to your having been named Secretary of State?

(2) Why did you assiduously feel a need to keep secret your daughter Vanessa’s marriage to an Iranian-American until after you had been approved by the Senate as Secretary of State?

(3) Why did your daughter and Behrooz Vala Nahed keep secret the guest list at the wedding?

(4) Do you think your new son-in-law Vala Nahed was being disingenuous when he said that he did not know your daughter was Senator Kerry’s daughter?

(5) Have you heard about the rumor among Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles that Zarif’s son was your son-in-law’s best man. Is this true?

(6) Is it also true that Vanessa and Behrooz have traveled to Iran?

(7) Do you see any grounds for a conflict of interest here, given your responsibilities and security clearances? Of course, you must know that many loyal Iranian and Arab-Americans have been denied clearances for less.

(8) Has your son-in-law’s parents given up their Iranian passports?

(9) What is your son-in-law’s passport and citizenship status vis-à-vis Iran’s terrorist regime?

(10) Are you certain that none of your son-in-law’s extended family have no contacts with the Islam Revolution Guard Corps or Iranian intelligences services?

(11) What about Behrooz’s file at the Islamic Republic’s interest section in Washington D.C.?

(11) Oh Senator Kerry, one last question. Have any of your “inside-the-beltway” senatorial colleagues asked you any of the above questions?

(12) And by-the-way, John, given the pro-Palestinian views of Episcopalian Bishop Shaw who officiated at your daughter’s wedding, don’t you agree that Israelis might have reason to be worried about the U.S. Secretary of State’s pledge to have Israel’s back.

Dr. Lawrence Franklin
Former Iran Desk Officer
Former Air Force Reserve Colonel Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Israel

One of my biggest concerns is the threat of the Islamists Government in Turkey turning Turkey into another Islamic Republic, and destroying the secularism that Ataturk fought for. What encourages me is seeing the Turkish people fight for their freedom every step of the way. My condolence goes out to the Berkin Elvan's family.

I hope we will start to see the police in Turkey stand with the PEOPLE rather than with the Islamist Government.

Teen's funeral sparks riots in Turkey: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/teens-funeral-sparks-riots-in-turkey-30088348.html

Kofi Annan along with other former global leaders also known as “The Elders” have started their visit to Iran in order to promote dialogue between Iran and the International Community.

The Elders who aim to promote “peace and human rights” are hypocritically starting their visit at Khomeini’s (Also known as the Islamic Butcher) Mausoleum!

As a pro-democracy activist I oppose any diplomatic relations or visits with the Islamic Regime in Iran, which only serves to give the regime further legitimacy. I am disturbed to see Kofi Annan and others visiting Iran at a time where executions are at an all time high, and we hearing daily reports of arrests of political and human rights activists.

What is even more concerning is the fact that a group which claims to be promoting human rights is starting their visit at the Mausoleum of Khomeini, an Islamic dictator responsible for the torture, rape and execution of thousands of Iranians who opposed the brutal Islamic dictatorship!

Instead of visiting prisons where political prisoners are incarcerated, families of political prisoners or those who have been executed by the Regime or political and human rights activists “The Elders” are visiting the grave of a man who was the root of the Islamic dictatorship in Iran.

Clearly Kofi Anan and other former world leaders have no intention of promoting peace or human rights. Their focus is the nuclear issue as is the focus of the international community, and they have no problem giving the Islamic Regime the green light to continue with its systematic human rights violations in Iran!

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist

Sayehhassan30@gmail.com
www.shiro-khorshid-forever.blogspot.com

January 20th 2014

John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2249 Carling Ave.
Suite 418
Ottawa Ontario
K2B 7E9

OPEN LETTER TO JOHN BAIRD: REFERENCE TO THE PERSIAN GULF AS THE “ARABIAN GULF”

Dear Minister Baird,

On January 16th 2014 during your address at the US Chamber of Commerce, you referred to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf.

As you are aware, for more than two millennia the location which you referred to as the “Arabian Gulf” has been referred to as the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf is the term officially recognized by the United Nations and the International Community.

While some Arab States have referred to the Persian Gulf as the “Arabian Gulf”, this term is historically incorrect and not recognized by the international community. It is unfortunate that by using the term “Arabian Gulf” you have chosen to give legitimacy to this historically and factually incorrect term.

The Islamic Regime in Iran has tried for many years to destroy the heritage, history and the culture of Iran and the Iranian people. The Regime changed the name of Iran to “Islamic Republic of Iran”, while changing the ancient Iranian “Lion and Sun” flag and replacing it with a non-Iranian flag, in an unsuccessful attempt to erase the history and legacy of Iran.

The Islamic Regime in Iran has failed at its attempts, as people of Iran have always been proud of their history, legacy and culture. As part of keeping the Iranian history and heritage alive, Iranians have organized numerous successful international campaigns to protect the term Persian Gulf over the recent years.

As an Iranian-Canadian pro-democracy activist I am extremely disappointed to see that Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has chosen to use the incorrect term “Arabian Gulf” which not only gives legitimacy to this term, but is also seen as a sign of insult and great disrespect to the people of Iran.

While as an Iranian-Canadian I appreciate the tough stand Canada has taken against the Islamic Regime in Iran, I am extremely disappointed in your disregard for the rich history and culture of Iran which so many of us Iranians are proud of and are fighting to protect.

Yours truly,

Sayeh Hassan

Iranian Canadian Criminal Defence Lawyer, Pro-Democracy Activist and Blogger

Mohammad Reza Pourshajari (53) also known as Siamak Mehr is an Iranian blogger and political prisoner who is currently serving a 4 year prison sentence for “political crimes” including “Insulting Islamic Sanctity” “Insulting the Leader” and “ Acting against national security.”

Mr. Pourshajari was arrested in September of 2010. After spending 7 months in solitary confinement where he was subjected to brutal torture, he was “convicted” in closed court and without the presence of a defence lawyer of the vague charges of “Insulting Islamic Sanctity” “Insulting the Leader” and “Acting against national security.”

While in prison Mr. Pourshajari has suffered from two heart attacks which have left him in very poor health. While prison doctors have asked for him to be given medical leave and be transferred to a hospital for long term treatment the Islamic Regime has refused to grant this request.

Mr. Pourshajari suffers from very serious health problems and it is pertinent for him to obtain long term medical treatment as soon as possible.

I am dedicating this post to Mohammad Reza Pourshajari and I urge all pro-democracy activists and human rights organizations to circulate this post and any other information in connection with Mr. Pourshajari making sure that he is not forgotten!

As always a reminder that the only way to help all political prisoners in Iran is to work towards the overthrow of the Islamic Regime in Iran and the promotion of a secular and democratic government by the people and for the people of Iran!

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Canadian Lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist

We are approaching my favourite time of the year, the Christmas season with all the lights, decorations and enjoying this time with family, friends and loved ones. While I am determined to enjoy this season I am keeping in my thoughts all political prisoners in Iran and their families, and especially those who are facing execution! In that spirit I will dedicate this post to Habibollah Latifi a Kurdish student, activist and political prisoner who has been sentenced to death by the Islamic Regime in Iran! Prisoners sentenced to death may have their sentence carried out at any moment, and it is crucial for us to keep writing about them and making sure their names and faces stay current, making it more difficult for the Islamic Regime to carry out these executions!

PRESS RELEASE: The Deal with Iran is a Dangerous Mistake: Canada is right in being skeptical and refusing to ease the sanctions in Iran!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 27th, 2013

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political News Editor

The interim agreement signed by the Islamic Regime and the International Community is a dangerous mistake which may lead to serious consequences. The Regime in Iran buckling under international pressure and the weight of the sanctions has managed to obtain an excellent deal from the international community while making almost zero concessions.

The new deal will give the regime a much needed relief from the sanctions at least for the next six months, while buying them much needed time to continue working on enriching uranium and moving closer to acquiring nuclear weapons.

Another unfortunate effect of the recent deal, which promises to give the Regime relief from back breaking sanctions is the fact that the issue of serious and systematic human rights violations committed by the regime against the people of Iran seem to have taken a back seat along with the regime’s financial support for terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

By making a deal with Iran that only focuses on the nuclear issue the international community has given a green light for the regime to continue to oppress its own people and to silence the strong voices of dissent inside Iran that has been calling for the complete overthrow of the Islamic Regime in Iran.

The threat posed by the Islamic Regime in Iran both domestically and internationally is real and should not be taken lightly. Canada is right to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions and to refuse to ease the sanctions on Iran.

Media Contact: Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Blogger, Pro-Democracy Activist

Tel: 416-363-9238

Email: Sayehhassan30@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE: Rally on Queens Park to Oppose Mass Executions in Iran: Wednesday November 6th 2013, 12:00-2:00 p.m., Join Us to say No to Executions & No to Islamic Regime in Iran!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 4th 2013

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political News Editor

Since the [S]election of Hassan Rouhani in Iran, the Islamic Regime has gone on a rampage of mass executions in order to create an atmosphere of fear and terror among Iranians, in an attempt to prevent any opposition against the Regime. The past week alone saw the executions of more than 30 people including a well known Kurdish political prisoner Shirkuh Moarefi who was executed this morning!

Sayeh Hassan an Iranian Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist stated “With the [S]election of Hassan Rouhani not only has the human rights conditions in Iran have not improved but they have become considerably worse. Since Rouhani’s raise to power in June of 2013 more than 300 people have been executed in Iran. Many of the individuals who have been executed are political prisoners of Balouchi and Kurdish ethnicity including well known activists Habibullah Golparipour and Shirkuh Moarefi. There are many more political prisoners who face the imminent risk of execution.”

Ms. Hassan further stated: “It is unfortunate that the Harper Government which has been one of leaders within the International Community in condemning Iran’s Human Rights violations has decided to remain silent in the face of recent mass executions in Iran. It appears that as long as there may be a chance of small concessions by the Islamic Regime regarding the nuclear issue that the International Community including the Harper Government is willing to turn a blind eye on the massive human rights violations committed by the Islamic Regime including the mass executions.”

Ms. Hassan lastly stated: “In the face of total silence of the Canadian Government and majority of the main stream media on the issue of mass executions in Iran, Iranian Canadian activist have organized a rally for Wednesday November 6th 2013 on Queens Park from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in order to raise awareness about the mass executions and to urge the Canadian Government and media to break their silence with respect to this issue. We invite all groups and organizations who condemn the recent executions in Iran to join us on Queens Park and say No to Executions and No to Islamic Regime in Iran!

Media Contact: Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Blogger, Pro-Democracy Activist

Tel: 416-363-9238

Email: Sayehhassan30@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE: Canada must continue to take a tough stand on Iran, In the face of recent mass executions by the Islamic Regime!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 28th 2013-10-28

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political News Editor

On Saturday October 26th, 18 prisoners including two Kurdish political prisoners were executed by the Islamic Regime in Iran. Hundreds of prisoners have been executed by the Islamic Regime since the so called “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani came to power in June, but executing 18 prisoners in one day is a new record even for the Islamic Regime.

Sayeh Hassan an Iranian Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist stated “While the so called “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani has been smiling his way through the United Nations and working hard to remove the tough sanctions against Iran, the Islamic Regime has been busy executing prisoners including political prisoners in record numbers. The latest example is the execution of 18 ethnic minority prisoners including 16 Balouchi’s and two Kurdish political prisoners.

Ms. Hassan further stated: “One of the political prisoners executed was Habibullah Golparipour, a young man arrested in 2009, subjected to brutal torture and “tried” behind closed doors. According to various reports Mr. Golparipour was executed secretly without the knowledge of his family or lawyer and without the execution date being announced. No doubt the Islamic Regime felt it was necessary to carry out the execution in secret to prevent major protests!”

Ms. Hassan expressed: “Islamic Regime’s killing machine has been operating full force since June of this year, unfortunately many countries including the United States have turned a blind eye to the mass killings in Iran and have agreed to enter into a political dialogue with the Islamic Regime in Iran.”

Sayeh Hassan lastly stated: “ Many Iranian Canadians are extremely concerned that Canada will follow the lead of the United States and renew diplomatic relations with the Regime in Iran. Unfortunately we have already started seeing signs of Canada “softening” its stand on Iran by allowing Iran to operate an unofficial consulate in Montreal and most recently appointing the country of Oman as the official representative of Iran in Canada. There is no doubt that the Conservative Government in Canada would lose not only the support but also the respect of Iranian Canadians if it chooses to ignore the mass executions in Iran and renews its diplomatic relations with Iran.

Media Contact: Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Blogger, Pro-Democracy Activist

Tel: 416-363-9238

Email: Sayehhassan30@gmail.com

Oman has been named as Iran's representative in Canada which means they will look after Iran's affairs and interests including consulate affairs. Last June Canada cut all diplomatic ties with Iran including shutting down Iran’s embassy in Ottawa. Since last June Canada has had no diplomatic relations with Iran and has not allowed for any country or entity to act as Iran’s representatives in Canada.

In September of this year an Islamic Centre in Montreal started carrying out Iran’s consulate affairs going as far as creating a website which clearly indicated that the Islamic centre would be Iran’s official consulate in Montreal.

Many Iranian Canadians were extremely concerned about this new development not only because this consulate was operating against Canadian law, but also because they were against Islamic Regime’s political presence in Canada, whether official or unofficial. Many Iranian Canadians contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, their members of parliament and the media to voice their concerns about this issue.

A facebook group named “Shut Down Iran’s Consulate in Montreal” was created and a protest was scheduled in front of the Islamic Centre in Montreal on Saturday October 26th 2013.

Unfortunately in the meantime the Canadian Government decided not only against shutting down Iran’s consulate in Montreal, but they also designated the country of Oman to act as Iran’s representative in Canada essentially allowing Iran to once again have a political presence in Canada.

This comes as a major disappointment and surprise to Iranian Canadians who applauded Canada’s tough stand on the Regime in Iran. There is great concern that this maybe the beginning of the renewal of Canada-Iran diplomatic relations which would not be welcome by Iranian Canadians who have been fighting against the dictatorship in Iran.

Please note that the scheduled protest of October 26th 2013 in Montreal has been cancelled, but there will be a protest in front of Oman Embassy in Ottawa as well as at Parliament Hills. Please stay tuned for the new date.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Canadian Lawyer, Pro-Democracy Activist and Blogger

October 10th World Day Against the Death Penalty

Today marks the world day against the death penalty. We mark this day at a time when the Islamic Regime in Iran is carrying out executions both publicly and privately on a daily basis. We are constantly bombarded with news from Iran about public hangings, stoning and executions in prisons. Today is a good opportunity to take a stand and say “No to Executions and No to Islamic Regime in Iran.” It is crucial that we do not separate the fight against the regime with the fight against executions as it is impossible to stop the killings in Iran unless we stop the killing machine.

If you are in Toronto please join us at Yonge/Dundas square at 6:30 pm and say NO TO EXECUTIONS AND NO TO ISLAMIC REGIME IN IRAN!

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