Over the weekend thousands of Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Troops crossed into Iraq and attacked Iraqi Kurdish villages.

According to an article by Kenneth Timmerman in Newsmax, the Revolutionary Guards are targeting basis for Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), a Kurdish/Iranian opposition group currently operating in Iran.

According to this news article PJAK guerilla fighters confirmed the death of 108 Revolutionary Guards while 200 more were injured during the attacks. Seven PJAK fighters also lost their lives.

While the Revolutionary Guards were busy invading Iraq and attacking Kurdish activists, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Prime Minister of the Kurdish Regional Government Dr. Barham Salih left for China to encourage Chinese investment in Iraq.

It is not surprising that the Iraqi Government has remained silent in the face of these attacks, what is surprising is the silence of Iranian opposition. If there was ever a time to be outraged and to speak out this is it.

Once again the Islamic Regime has taken it upon itself to cross borders and attack an opposition group in a desperate attempt to defeat and silence them.

If we as Iranian opposition and activists remain silent today there is no telling what the Regime will do tomorrow and who it will attack next!

I urge all opposition groups and independent activists to take a strong stand against these attacks, in order to prevent the Regime from carrying out such attacks in the future.

Just a reminder:

“First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Down with Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

On July 8th 2011 Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that Canada together with the United Kingdom and the United States is increasing restrictions on the Iranian authorities to hold them accountable for their international human rights obligations.

While this is a step in the right direction, it will not be enough to prevent the Regime in Tehran from systematically violating the rights of its citizens or enriching uranium and moving closer to acquiring nuclear weapons. While these factors alone should encourage Canada to take a stronger stand against the Regime in Iran, there is also the Iranian Regime’s attempt to penetrate and influence
Canadian government and non-government institutions.

In October 2010, the problem-plagued RCMP Community Outreach program promoted a so-called “peace conference” organized by well-known regime apologist Akbar Manoussi. Apparently shaken that the RCMP could place a person of such sympathies on one of their advisory boards, Public Safety Minister Vic
Toews scrambled to announce that the RCMP must keep clear of this and other hate fests. Other troubling RCMP outreach has occurred but, despite pleas from moderate Muslims and others, Mr. Toews has been helpless to force the issue.

In January, Library and Archives Canada, our federal library, capitulated to Iranian pressure and cancelled a showing of the film Iranium. Protests by the sponsor, the Free Thinking Film Society, spurred the Canadian government to re-schedule the event.
Despite these red flags, Tehran still enjoys the credibility and influence that comes with having an embassy in Ottawa. In fact, to the disgust of pro-democracy activists, National Arts Centre officials recently invoked Canada’s relations with Iran as justification for allowing the mullah regime to host –
via an Iranian “cultural” organization – a lavish event at the Canadian taxpayer-funded NAC. 

It must be said that, especially since Iran’s 2003 killing of Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra
Kazemi, our government has shown itself willing to limit the
scope of its diplomatic relationship with Iran. Nonetheless, its embassy continues to allow Iran a formidable base of operations in our midst.

Many Iranian-Canadians and others familiar with Iranian Regime refer to Iran’s embassy
 as “The House of Terror.” The embassy serves as an operational headquarters for attempts
 to spy on Canadians and manipulate policy and public opinion. It identifies and intimidates 
pro-democracy activists, with particular regard to Iranian-Canadian dissidents whose families in Iran may be vulnerable. Along with front organizations, embassy personnel penetrate our universities, and some “students”, boasting embassy connections, warn campus democracy activists not to get out of line.

Meanwhile, Iranian immigrants complain that expatriate
Iranian “volunteers” are joining immigrant-settlement organizations in order to spy on newcomers from Iran, rather than to help integrate Iranian immigrants into Canadian life, values and loyalty.

The crisis is building; with a terror-linked Iranian brigadier general’s recent boast that Western countries are infiltrated by Tehran’s armed forces – and general recognition that Iranian Revolutionary Guard elements operate from many of Regime’s embassies. The embassy of Iran, like so many of its “cultural” and other offices, is a threat to the sovereignty and security of Canadians.

It is time to shut it down.

Sayeh Hassan is a Toronto-based criminal defence lawyer and a bloggeradvocating for human rights and democracy in Iran.

The twelfth anniversary of 18 Tir (July 9th 1999) the Iranian pro-democracy uprising that shook the Islamic Regime for six days is fast approaching and once again activists in Iran and abroad are getting ready to mark this day with worldwide protests.

While 18 Tir protests were trigged by the banning of a reformist newspaper “Salam’, the protests quickly escalated into a six day anti-government demonstrations which sought to overthrow the Islamic Regime in its entirety. While the students had started the protests, soon Iranians from all walks of life joined in the fight against the government and shook the Regime to the core.

What is most significant about 18 Tir is the fact that this was the first time in 20 years where Iranian people came out in overwhelming numbers to fight against the government and for democracy in Iran. While the pro-democracy movement in Iran had been active from the very beginning of the revolution, this was the first time ever people came out in such significant numbers and attacked the Regime publicly and in the streets.

Regime was shocked and scared and handled the situation in the only way it knew how, by arresting and torturing thousands of students and activists, and sentencing them to long imprisonment terms. At least one student Ezzat Ebrahim Nejad was shot to death by Regime agents while protesting, but the number may be much higher.

Among those arrested and falsely charged with “risking national security” was Akbar Mohammadi a student who was arrested and sentenced to death for his involvement in the peaceful demonstrations. Due to overwhelming international pressure his sentence was eventually reduced to 15 years of imprisonment. Unfortunately Akbar Mohammadi died under very suspicious circumstances in August 2nd 2006, in the notorious Evin Prison while he was on a hunger strike. Many believe that he was murdered in prison because he would not give up his fight against the Islamic Regime under any circumstances.

Another note worthy activist who was arrested during 18 Tir was Behrouz Javid Tehrani, a student activist and the only remaining political prisoner from July 9th 1999 pro-democracy demonstrations. Mr. Tehrani has spent most of the past 12 years in Islamic Regime prisons because he also refused to stop his fight for democracy and freedom in Iran.

On 18 Tir we remember Ezzat Ebrahim Nejad, Akbar Mohammadi, Behrouz Javid Tehrani and thousands of other activists who have lost their lives in the fight for a free and democratic Iran, or who have spent the best years of their lives in Islamic Regime dungeons to create a better Iran.

The pro-democracy movement in Iran which showed its teeth during the six day 18 Tir Protests continues today and is arguably stronger than it has ever been. While twelve years ago we did not hear the slogan of “down with the Islamic Regime,” we hear it today in Iranian streets on a regular basis.

It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to remember and to continue on this path until the Islamic Regime is overthrown and we have a free and democratic Iran.

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

Wishing everyone a very happy Canada Day!