Canada Iran Human Rights and Democracy Committee- Creation of Parliamentary Group On December 12th 2011 I had the pleasure of speaking at the first meeting of the new parliamentary group "Canada Iran Human Rights and Democracy Committee" which took place at the La Promenade Building at 7:00pm.

This Committee was created with the initiative of James Bezan Member of Parliament for Selkirk-interlake, in the Conservative Party.

This Committee will seek to "bring to light human rights violations being committed by Iran, both domestically and internationally and to make it abundantly clear to the Government of Iran, as well as the international community that Canadian Parliamentarians are serious about promoting Canadian values of peace, democracy, the rule of law, security and human rights."

Throughout the year this Committee will focus on issues relating to human rights and democracy within Iran, Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program and Iranian support for militancy throughout the Middle East and terrorism abroad. The Committee will also focus on elements affiliated with the Islamic Regime in Canada.

If anyone is interested in further information please feel free to contact me.

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

December 7th marks the National Student Day in Iran. The student movement is a power to be reckoned with and has been for many years. Students in Iran have been actively and consistently fighting against the Islamic Regime for many years.

We all remember the pro-democracy student demonstrations in July of 1999 which shook the Islamic Regime to the core, as well as countless anti-regime protests and demonstrations we have witnessed since 1999. The students have been very active and very involved in asking for a secular/ non religious, free and democratic government in Iran. As a result the number of arrests, imprisonment, torture and rape of students has increased over the years.

Today I am commemorating 16 Azar, the National Student Day in Iran, and am dedicating this post to all brave Iranian students who are relentlessly fighting for a secular and democratic Iran, and specifically to Akbar Mohammadi and Behrouz Javid Tehrani, two symbols of strength and resistance against the Regime in Iran.

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

It is no secret that whenever the Islamic Regime feels threatened it resorts to brutal violence. We have seen the Regime step up its systematic arrests, torture and rape of Iranian activists; we have seen mass public executions in order to instill fear in the heart of people. While this has been going on for 32 years it usually increases whenever the Regime feels threatened and endangered by the people’s movement.

However it seems like the Regime is no longer satisfied with only attacking the Iranian people. The most recent example is the attack of the British Embassy by Iranian Basiji Militia, which is a group closely linked to the so called Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. No doubt the recent international sanctions have played a serious role in this recent attack.

In the past few weeks we have seen the international community take a very stern stand against the Regime. In particular countries like Canada, Britain and even France have been pushing for oil sanctions, arguably one of the only ways to break this Regime’s back. No doubt the Regime has started to feel the pressure and as usual has once again resorted to violence, namely the attack on the British Embassy.

I think it is important to note two things, which the Western media seems to have missed.

1. The attack was not carried out by “protestors” or ordinary Iranian citizens. This was clearly an attack by Basiji Militia which is directly linked to the Regime. It is important to distinguish peace loving Iranians from these brutal thugs, and their attack on the Embassy.
2. While I strongly condemn the attack on the British Embassy, I think the attack is a clear sign that strong oil sanctions against Iran are working! There is no way Iran would have resorted to this act, if it didn’t feel cornered and helpless.

This is why it is crucial for the International Community to keep the pressure on Iran, with smart Oil Sanctions in order to weaken the Regime and allow the Iranian People to use this weakness to overthrow the Regime.

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


by Rhonda Spivak, November 16, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I reported on the fact that an Iranian terror financier from a large bank in Iran involved in funding terror groups in the Middle East , Mahmoud Reza Khavari, has immigrated to Canada and is now living in Toronto. .

It now turns out that a second man linked to the Iranian bank scandal has moved to Montreal, as reported in the Globe and Mail. .

Is this just a co-incidence or is Canada is putting out a welcome mat for financiers with links to the Iranian Regime?

Sayah Hassan, an Iranian Canadian lawyer and pro-democracy advocate told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that: "Mehregan Amirkhosravi is the second individual linked to the 2.6 billion dollar embezzlement scandal in Iran that is living in Canada. This shows a clear pattern that individuals who have links to the Islamic Regime in Iran or individuals who have been involved with financial organizations that fund [non-peaceful] nuclear programs and terrorist groups are increasingly finding a safe haven in Canada.

"There is great concern that there are other individuals from high ranking officials to interrogators and torturers who have found their way to Canada and have brought along a great amount of money for investment. I think that this is happening potentially at the expense of legitimate refugees who have escaped from Iran in order to save their lives, people who would truly have respect for Canadian values such as freedom and democracy.

"Canada is a nation of immigrants and many of us have come here to get away from tyrants and oppressors. We need to make sure Canada does not become a safe haven for those very oppressors that many of us have escaped from."

Thank you Mr. Bezan for your consistent support of the pro-democracy movement in Iran

November 15, 2011

James Bezan condemns the Iranian government

Ottawa, ON - James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake has been working diligently to expose the leadership in Iran fand reveal those in Canada associated with the government of Iran. “Iran continues to support terrorism, defiantly pursues nuclear weapons, calls for the end of the state of Israel and systematically tramples the rights of innocent Iranians,” said Bezan.
Mr. Bezan has also been consistent in denouncing the actions and ambitions of the President of Iran and has repeatedly called for the protection of Iranian refugees in Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

Recently Mr. Bezan has pointed out the disturbing circumstances of Iranians Mahmoud Reza Khavari and Mehregan Amirkhsoravi. Mr. Khavari was the previous head of Iran’s state owned bank (Bank Melli), and the Mr. Amirkhsoravi was linked to Bank Melli. This bank is connected to funding terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and both of these men are reported to be living in Canada.

“These men must not be allowed to brazenly defy and abuse our generous immigration system, and action must be taken,” said Bezan. “I implore the government to pursue all legal grounds to revoke Khavari’s reported citizenship.” MP Bezan is calling on the government to investigate Mr. Khavari.

Mr. Bezan has a long standing relationship with Iranian Pro-Democracy activists here in Canada, and they have been working together to examine the actions of the Iranian Embassy.

Last year the National Archives of Canada announced the screening of Iraniumand the Iranian Embassy attempted to prevent the viewing of this film, intimidated public servants and stifled free speech. Bezan continues to unequivocally denounce the Embassy of Iran for these undiplomatic acts.

Mr. Bezan will be screening the documentary, Iranium to parliamentarians in December.

For further information please contact:
Dana Seymour
Office of James Bezan, MP
Phone: 613-992-2032

Iranian banker could be in Canada illegally
By Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau

Sayeh Hassan says it's great authorities are examining how the ex-head of Iran's state-owned Bank Melli, Mahmoud Reza Khavari, obtained Canadian citizenship in 2005.
"I think it's a really good sign and it's going to send a strong message to people like Mr. Khavari that they can't just come to Canada and use Canada as a safe haven," said Hassan.

Bank Melli has long been suspected of ties to Iran's notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard and funding Tehran's nuclear ambitions and terrorist activities.
Khavari abruptly resigned from Bank Melli in late September and is wanted in connection to an Iranian financial scandal.

Earlier this month he flew to Toronto where a $3-million mansion is listed in his name.

But Khavari may just be the tip of the iceberg.

"There is concern that there are a lot more like him in Canada," said Hassan. "Unfortunately it's a lot more difficult to identify who they are."

The investigation involving Khavari follows a federal effort launched in July to revoke the citizenships of 1,800 people believed to be guilty of fraud.

There's no indication that effort has targeted other members of the Iranian regime.


by Rhonda spivak, October 19, 2011

The Canadian-Iranian blogger “Winston,” who writes at The Spirit of Man website, drew attention to this important story.

About three weeks ago, the news broke in the Iranian press of an embezzlement scandal. Three billion dollars went missing from an Iranian bank, the largest single instance of embezzlement in a regime where graft is commonplace.

Mahmoud Reza Khavari, the managing director of Bank Melli, has fled to Canada. The Washington Post provides further context regarding the scope of the embezzlement, those involved, and how they link into other Iranian political scandals.

As Michal Rubin, writing in Commentary Magazine has said, what the Washington Post does not mention is that Bank Melli has been involved in the transfer of funds to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah through the Qods Force, as well as Iran’s nuclear program. Bank Melli was among the Iranian financial institutions which the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned in 2007.

The Globe and Mail, reported that Khavari, who resigned amid this "massive embezzlement scandal, one that has soured the political fortunes of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is reported to be in the Toronto area – where a $3-million home is owned in his name."

"The scandal is described as the biggest fraud in that country’s history. The amounts of money involved exceed even the $2-billion loss the Swiss bank UBS recently sustained due to a rogue trader."

The article in the Globe and Mail gives a lot of background and is worth a read

The question that pro-democracy Canadian Iranians, and many others, have been asking is why it is that Khavari has been allowed to live in Canada when it is very clear that he has been linked ot the Iranian teroro machine.

As Sayeh Hassan, a Canadian Iranian lawyer told the Winnipeg Jewis Review on October 18, 2011

"Basically he [Khavari] was the head of Melli Bank in Iran which is the largest bank in Iran and has been sanctioned by US as well as UN for funding nuclear programs and funding terrorist organizations like Hamas. Obviously since he was the head of the bank, one can only suspect his involvement...It's been all over the news lately and the Canadian Gov. refuses to make any comment. As concerned Canadians we musturge theCanadian Government to re-open Khavari's immigration file, revoke his [Canadian] citizenship and freeze all his assets in Canada.

Hassan adds, "High ranking individuals within the dictatorship's regime should not be allowed to use Canada as a safe haven."

Hassan has made a video report in front of Khavari's home in Toronto. To go to the English section, start the video at the 5 minute

Until recently Mahmoud Reza Khavari was the chairman of the board of directors of Melli Bank, the largest bank in Iran.

In the midst of a large embezzlement scandal he resigned and left Iran legally. Currently he is believed to be residing in Toronto, Ontario.

According to various media reports not only does Reza Khavari own property worth millions of dollars in Canada, he has also been able to obtain Canadian Citizenship.

The Melli Bank in Iran has been sanctioned by the US for its involvement in funding nuclear and missile programs as well as funding terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad. As the head of this bank, Reza Khavari has been directly involved in these activities.

It must be noted that as the head of the largest bank in Iran Reza Khavari was a key figure within the Islamic Regime in Iran until very recently. Islamic Regime in Iran is a regime that not only systematically arrests, tortures, rapes and executes its own citizens, but is also very actively involved in funding terrorism worldwide.

It is cause for concern that such an individual has been able to obtain a Canadian Citizenship and is using Canada as a safe haven.

So far the Canadian Government has been silent on this issue, however as concerned Canadians we must urge the Canadian Government to re-open Reza Khavari’s immigration file, revoke his citizenship and freeze all his assets in Canada.

High ranking individuals within dictatorship regime’s should not be allowed to use Canada as their safe haven!

Video report in front of Reza Khavari’s home- Toronto- The English Section starts at minute 5.

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

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!

Mennonite Scholars from CMU Face Criticism for Meeting with Iranian Clerics from Institution Led By Ahmadinejad’s Spiritual Leader

By Rhonda Spivak, June 23, 2011

Seven Iranian Muslin clerics met at Canadian Mennonite University in Tuxedo in June, for three day of close-door discussions with seven Mennonite theologians from Canada and the United States, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. (See:

According to the Free Press report the Iranian scholars, consisting of Fanaei Eshkevari and six colleagues from the Imam Khomeini Education & Research Institute, insisted on closed meetings in order to prevent protests by pro-democracy Iranian Canadians against the Iranian regime.

A CMU professor told the Free Press that although these discussions were intended to be theological, not political, the Iranian scholars asked for closed meetings to prevent a repeat of protests by Iranian Canadians that shut down a public forum at a previous 2007 dialogue in Waterloo.

"It was they (the Iranians) who said we will not come if any of your events are for the public," explained Gordon Zerbe of CMU.
Pro-democracy Iranian Canadians and human rights advocates have criticized the decision of the Canadian Mennonite University for acceding to this request by the Iranian scholars, arguing that the actions by the CMU strengthen the dictatorship of Iran, and undermine the need for regime change.

Sayeh Hassan, an Iranian Canadian lawyer, and human rights activist in Toronto told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that even if the discussions were “theological” in nature, (and not political) “these clerics certainly have a very pro-regime stand.” She pointed out, for example that in 2010 one of these clerics, Mohammad Fanaei Eshkevari in an interview with a Italian Magazine Vademecun stated “ Iran is the only democratic country in the middle east… Iran is the most popular state in the world… those who demonstrate against the government are a small minority. Western Medias do not show the reality.” ( emphasis added.)

After noting that the Iranian cleric insisted on a “behind closed doors” discussion to prevent demonstrations by “pro-democracy activists who support the overthrow of the Islamic Regime and creation of a secular and democratic government in Iran,” she criticized a Canadian University for agreeing to “such an un-democratic demand.”

As she said: “We live in Canada, not Iran, and while it is the norm in Iran to conduct many things including trials, torture, rape and executions behind closed doors, there is no reason for those anti-democratic practices to be carried into Canada by supporters or lobbyists of the Regime. I condemn any dialogue with supporters of the Islamic Regime who has for the past 32 years tortured, raped and executed hundreds of thousands of Iranians and who continue to do so. If this Canadian University was adamant on having these discussions they should at the very least have adhered to democratic Canadian values and made sure the discussions were open to public and transparent.”

A Google search done by the Winnipeg Jewish Review found that the institute from which these seven Muslim clerics come from is headed by Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi who is considered one of Iran’s most radical clerics and is the spiritual mentor of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. In fact, Mesbah-Yazdi asked and received a budget for the establishment of the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute, which he currently heads. ( )

When asked for his reaction to this, David Matas, an international human rights lawyer, and Senior Honourary Counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, said “This sort of meeting is problematic because it can be used by the regime for propaganda purposes to give it legitimacy. Anything that helps keep the regime in power is, because of the very nature of the regime, something to be avoided.”

However, Rev. James Christie, Professor of Dialogue Theology and Director of the Ridd Institute for Religion & Global Policy at the University of Winnipeg, defended the actions of the Canadian Mennonite University. He wrote to the Winnipeg Jewish Review: "Given that the meetings are closed, I can hardly speculate on what or what might not be discussed. But talks between and among scholars, theologians and any other religious leaders hardly legitimate any given political regime. If there is no talk, there is no progress. I agree with the late Mr. Rabin: 'You don't make peace with your friends.' To refuse to engage may satisfy a certain need to be or to be seen to be politically correct; little else.

“It is difficult to imagine Mennonites not addressing human rights concerns.

“As to outrageous statements by Iranian political leaders, I know that nothing I say influences Mr. Harper's positions. How should I expect something other in a country with a regime such as Iran's.?"

There is nothing in the Winnipeg Free Press report which says specifically that the Mennonite scholars addressed human rights concerns.

Further, when asked by the Winnipeg Jewish Review to respond to Rev. Christie’s comments above, Matas replied: “In my view, the expression of human rights concerns, to be effective, should be public and persistent, at the highest level possible. The expression of human rights concerns behind closed doors dissipates the impact of those concerns.”

When asked whether he thought that the CMU ought to have met the Iranian clerics behind closed doors, former Liberal MP and human rights activist David Kilgour activist said, “Definitely not. I'm surprised the University would do so. They should know better the nature of the regime by now.”

Kilgour, who spoke at the recent Iran 180 Coalition in New York, told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that “We Americans/Canadians generally and the entire world have a responsibility to stand in robust solidarity with the struggle for dignity for all in Iran.”

The dialogue marked the fifth formal meeting between Shia Muslim scholars form Iran and Mennonite scholars, and the first time the dialogue took place in Winnipeg. These dialogues began after Iranian religious leaders wanted to learn more about the Mennonites who offered aid and relief supplies through the Mennonite Central Committee after the devastation of the 1990 earthquake in Iran.

Editor’s comment: The dialogue with the Iranian Muslim Clerics which took place in our city for the first time so happens to have occurred in the constituency which has the largest Jewish population in Manitoba and very near by, the Asper Jewish Community Campus. Next time the Mennonite scholars choose to invite pro-regime Iranian scholars we ought to suggest that both the Iranian and Mennonite scholars come join us for a screening of the movie “Iranian” about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. It is rather ironic that the screening of the film at an event sponsored by the B’nai Brith Prairie Region and Magen David Adom Canada, also took place at the beginning of June, right around the time when the clerics and Mennonite scholars were dialoguing down the road.

Readers may wish to remember that Robert J. Suderman, general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, was among several Canadians who attended a dialogue with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2008 in New York. One of the sponsoring organizations was the Mennonite Central Committee. They discussed the role of religion in responding to global challenges and building peace and understanding between societies. (

Readers may also wish to note the recent reports that Iran was the mastermind behind the Syrian government's backing of Palestinian refugees storming Israel's borders on "Nakba Day" and has been backing Bashar Assad's repressive actions to quell the ongoing protests in his country.They have aslo been delivering longer range weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, to be used, sooner or later, against Israel.

Tonight I attended an event in honor and memory of Abdollah and Mohammad Fatehi two brave brothers who were recently executed by the Islamic Regime in Iran.

The event had been organized by family members and friends of Fatehi brothers. There were a number of speakers including the Uncle of Fatehi brothers and his wife. Both mother and father of Fatehi brothers also joined us via telephone conference and thanked everyone worldwide who had stood by their family during this tragic time.

While it was an emotionally difficult night for me, I also left the event with a renewed sense of strength and motivation.

I am still in awe of Fatehi brothers mother who after losing two of her sons is still able to stand strong and encourage people to come together to get rid of the Islamic Regime in Iran.

A theme that seemed to be running through the night was that we need to stop crying, we need to stand strong and united against this brutal Regime. Only with strength, unity and determination will we be able to defeat this Regime.

This takes me back to a few years ago when I wrote a post titled "Never let the enemy see you sad or defeated" I wrote that post
in honor of Akbar Mohammadi who fought against the Regime until his death in the Evin Prison and Majid Kavousifar who went to his execution with a smile on his face.

It took me a while to understand the meaning behind that smile, but I realized that there is nothing more important than standing strong, united and proud against the Regime.

Tonight I am writing this post in Honor of Fatehi brothers and their very brave mother who reminded me once again the importance of standing strong and continuing in the path of Fatehi brothers and all other freedom fighters who have gone to their death holding their heads up, with a smile on their face and with the knowladge that thousands of others would follow in their footsteps until the Islamic Regime is overthrown.

The execution of Fatehi brothers has been a unifying force among Iranians and hopefully this tragic loss will be the beginning of the end for the Islamic Regime in Iran.

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

Dear Friends,

A rememberence event is being organized by the family and friends of Abdollah and Mohammad Fatehi in Toronto for this coming Saturday (June 11th from 5pm to 8pm)

Please below find all necessary details below:

Date: Saturday June 11th
Time: 5pm-8pm
Place: Thornhill Community Centre: 7755 Bayview Ave. Thornhill

یادمانی به نام عشق و انسانیت

هرشب ستاره ای به زمین می کشند
باز این آسمان غمزده غرق ستاره هاست

در سحرگاه سه شنبه ۱۷ مه ۲۰۱۱ دو جوان، دو برادر عاشق انسانیت و زندگی، عبدالهن و محمد فتحی، توسط جمهوری اسلامی ایران اعدام گردیدند.

یادمان محمد و عبدالله مجلس سوگواری نیست، هر چند سوگواریم.
یادمان این عزیزان زانوی غم بغل گرفتن نیست، گر چه غمزده ایم.
این یادمان اما صدائیست علیه بی عدالتی، علیه شکنجه، علیه اعدام و جنایات رژیم اسلامی.

با حضور و همراهی تان این صدای اعتراض را هر چه رساتر کنیم.

مراسم شامل شعرخوانی، نمایش ویدئو و پیام از خانواده محمد و عبدالله

زمان: ساعت 5 تا 8 بعد از ظهر، روز شنبه 11 جون 2011

مکان: Thornhill Community Centre: 7755 Bayview Ave. Thornhill
(واقع در شمال شرقی تقاطع خیابانهای بی ویو و جان)
تماس: 416 407 7922

از طرف خانواده های فتحی و علاسوندی، رفقا و بستگان

As many of us are aware the Islamic Regime Embassy in Ottawa is organizing a “cultural event” called Iran the Land of Glory, which is to take place at the National Art Centre, in Ottawa on June 4th.

Given that the National Art Centre is a partially government funded entity it is extremely concerning that the National Art Centre has agreed to host an event organized by the Islamic Regime Embassy.

Due to the limited diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran there is nothing prohibiting the Regime from having this event, but the fact that it is taking place at a government funded entity gives the illusion that both the National Art Centre and the Canadian Government are supporting this event.

I would urge Canadians to not only not attend this event, which is being organized by one of the worst dictatorship regime’s in the world, but also to perhaps consider not attending any future events held at the National Art Centre to show dissatisfaction with any entity that will cater to the Islamic Regime, especially on Canadian soil.

The Islamic Regime is no longer a danger which only concerns the Iranian people. A Regime that supports international terrorism, has denied the Holocaust, has threatened the existence of Israel and is in pursuit of nuclear weapons is a danger to the International Community as a whole.

The Regime has also tried on numerous occasions to infiltrate and influence Canadian entities by threatening the National Archives, to prevent them from showing the film Iranium, or by attempting to infiltrate the RCMP Outreach Program. The Canadian Government however has always taken a strong stand against the Regime both internationally and in Canada.

I urge the Canadian Government to once again show its support for the Iranian people by preventing the Regime from having events in Government funded entities. I also urge all Canadians to voice their concern both to the National Art Centre and the Canadian Government in regards to any events being organized by a dictatorship regime which has no respect for life, liberty and culture.

Please view the following video which was created by an Iranian/Canadian activist in protest to this event.

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

The Islamic Regime of Iran is at it again, attempting to organize a "cultural event" at the National Art Centre in Ottawa on June 4th 2011. The Regime has been known to organize so called culltural events every so often in order to mask its true nature, and hide behind culture. This is an attempt to move the focus of Canadians and the Canadian Government away from the human rights violations, recent waive of mass executions, rape and torture in prisons and the general illegitimacy of the Regime in Iran.

This event is being organized by the Cultural Centre of Iran which is affiliated with the Islamic Regime Embassy in Ottawa. It is concerning to see that once again the Regime is attempting to show its influence and power in Canada.

I urge all freedom loving activists to write to the National Art Centre and voice your concerns over this "cultural event" organized by the Regime.

Rosemary Thompson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs of NAC (613) 947-7000

Peter Herrndorf, CEO and President of NAC (613) 947-7000


Or you can send an email from this page:

We may have to organize a protest but I am hoping it won't come to that and the National Art Centre will cancel the event. Please call and send emails as soon as you can, and circulate this as wide as possible, especially to our friends in Ottawa.

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

Last night two young brothers Abdollah (29) and Mohammad (27) were executed by the Islamic Regime in the city of Isfehan. Two brothers had been arrested in March of 2010 and “convicted” after mock trials without defence lawyers on charges of “involvement with anti revolutionary groups”, “armed opposition” and being a “mohareb” (enemy of God).

Last night thousands of activists awaited by their phones, TV’s and computers waiting to see whether the executions would be carried out. Thousands of activists had come together on facebook and twitter, circulating news about the brothers, writing to the authorities and hoping that the executions would be halted.

Around 7am Isfehan time the Fatehi brother's mother went inside the prison and was able to visit them one last time, although the prison guards refused to take the handcuffs off of Abdollah and Mohammad so that they could hug their mother one last time before executions. Moments after she came out of the prison two ambulances were seen going inside the prison, and the family was told to collect the bodies of the two brothers from the morgue.

While many of us are grieving the murder of two young political activists we are also faced with the immanent possibility of more executions, starting with the possible execution of Habibollah Latifi which may be carried out as early as tomorrow.

For those who may not remember Mr. Latifi is a 29 year old Kurdish activist who was “convicted” of being a “Mohareb” and “membership in the Kurdish opposition group PJAK” after being subjected to severe torture and going through the usual three minute mock trial.

Mr. Latifi’s execution had been scheduled for last December, however thanks to worldwide international campaign, as well the a major protest in front of the prison in Sanandaj, the authorities did not carry out the execution and sent it back to court for “confirmation”

According to various reports the death sentence against Mr. Latifi has once again been confirmed and has been sent to the branch carrying out sentences to be executed. There have been a number of reports suggesting the execution may be carried out tomorrow (May 18th 2011). In any event it is clear that the risk of execution of Mr. Latifi is imminent and I call on all activists and organizations who took part in the campaign of Fatehi brothers to also do what they can to stop the execution of Mr. Latifi.

Mass executions by the Regime have always signaled Regime’s fear and despair from the people. We have seen this in 1981, summer of 1988 and most recently after the June 2009 [s]elections. When the Regime feels threatened and weak it kills, it kills in order to bring fear and terror to the heart of the people. In order to make sure people are too afraid to rise up. In the past few months once again we have seen a similar pattern of almost daily executions in Iran, which can only signal the terror of the Regime from the people.

One can only hope that people of Iran will come to realize their strength, and the Regime’s fear from them. People of Iran are strong, and the Regime has gotten extremely weak, especially in the past two years, making the overthrow of the Islamic Regime a real possibility. I hope that through this tragedy and perhaps others to come we do not lose sight of this reality.

I certainly hope the recent executions by the Regime have opened the eyes of many who choose to only focus on human rights issues, ignoring the broader and the more real issue which is regime change in Iran.

In the hopes of a day when the Islamic Regime will be overthrown by the Iranian people and we will see a free, secular and democratic Iran.

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

According to news reports from Committee of Human Rights Reporters two brothers Mohammad (27) and Abdollah (29) who are currently being held in the intelligence service section of the Isfehan Prison are scheduled to be executed tomorow morning.

These brothers are political prisoners and were subjected to brutal physical and psychological torture in order to force confessions from them. According to a statement from their father, their lawyer was not allowed to be present during the" trial", after which they were "convicted" of communicating with opposition groups, armed opposition and being a "mohareb" (enemy of God).

The family of the Fatehi brothers have urged all human rights organizations and activists to do what ever in their power to stop the execution of Mohammad and Abdullah.

I am hopeful that people of Isfehan will rise up and stop the execution of these two brothers the same way people of Sanandaj stopped the execution of Habibollah Latifi in December of 2010.

Please circulate and do what you can to get the word out as much as possible. We only have a few hours, so let's do what we can.

Link to original article in Farsi
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

Today we mark the one year anniversary of Farzad Kamangar’s execution by the Islamic Regime. On that dark day the Islamic Regime executed Mr. Kamangar who was a peace loving teacher and activist as well as four other Ali Heydariyan, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alamhool and Mehdi Eslamiyan.

While a year has passed we have not forgotten Mr. Kamangar and what he stood for, and we continue to move on the same path for a free, secular and democratic Iran.

While a year later I am still deeply saddened by this tragedy I am also hopeful and encouraged to see that the fight against the Islamic Regime is becoming bigger and stronger every day.

My thoughts and condolences are with the families and loved ones of Mr. Kamangar, Heydariyan, Vakili, Eslamiyan and Ms. Alamhooli.

In hopes of a free Iran where innocent young people will not be executed for “political crimes”

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

Dear Friends,

As many of you may have already heard Trita Parsi had been invited to speak at the “Iran in Context Conference” in Ottawa which is organized by Canada International Council and scheduled for May 5th. Upon hearing this news a campaign was started by prominent Iranian activists in Canada and the United States to expose Mr. Parsi and his agenda for lobbying for the Islamic Regime.

Following an eloquently written open letter by Dr. Arash Irandoost, which was signed by a number of prominent Iranian and non Iranian activists, and an op-ed in the National Post co-authored by Kenneth Timmerman and myself, Canada International Council announced that Mr. Parsi would not be speaking at the conference due to “family and health reasons.”

This is another clear example of how coming together and working in a unified fashion towards a common goal can be very effective. We have managed to keep Mr. Parsi from coming to Canada and lobbying for the Islamic Regime, at least for the time being. We need to keep vigilant and continue to work together in order to keep the voice of the real Iranian opposition strong.

I want to send my sincere thanks to everyone who was involved in this campaign, Dr. Irandoost for being the pioneer in this campaign and writing the letter, everyone who signed and helped circulate it, Mr. Timmerman for co-authoring the op-ed and everyone behind the scenes who helped with editing and publication, as well as other activists and organizations who wrote to the Canada International Council about their concerns in regards to the conference.

Congratulations on job well done.

Sayeh Hassan
Barrister & Solicitor

Conference on Iran to feature Tehran apologist

By Kenneth R. Timmerman and Sayeh Hassan

So we welcome the initiative of the Canadian International Council and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa in holding a May 5 conference on Iran. But we question why the organizers would even contemplate inviting as a keynote speaker Trita Parsi, a pro-Tehran lobbyist who has become so infamous among Iranian-Americans that they show up for his events just to heckle him.

Until the widely disputed June 2009 “election” of Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Parsi and his group, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC ) rarely mentioned the words “human rights.” Instead, they lobbied the U.S. Congress hard against U.S. sanctions on Iran and promoted U.S. trade with Iran, despite the regime’s human rights record, its nuclear weapons ambitions, and its support for international terrorism and vows to wipe Israel off the map.

Canada Promotes "The Mullahs' Voice"

While the Canadian International Council is set to sponsor an Ottawa event on May 5th, entitled, "Iran in Context: Global and Regional Implications" ostensibly to focus on "political and security issues," the event has drawn a strong protest letter that includes signatories from a broad multicultural spectrum of the Iranian community in Canada who request cancelling the event.

The petition expresses concern about several speakers on the conference panel, deeming them to be Iranian regime apologists who would present the Iranian government as a "pragmatic and rational entity," in which diplomacy and dialogue could offer solutions. One of those speakers is Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a lobby that advocates the lifting of trade and economic sanctions against Iran. Kenneth R. Timmerman -- Executive Director for the Foundation of Democracy in Iran, and nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize along with John Bolton for his work on Iran -- once described Parsi as "The Mullahs' Voice" and the "unofficial spokesman in Washington who can talk circles around their official ambassadors."

Parsi's lobby, the NIAC was also featured unfavorably in the Washington Times as violating Federal lobbying rules in its quest for Iranian advocacy. Before he founded the NIAC, Parsi had launched another group: "Iranians for International Cooperation"(IIC). Although Parsi is publicly critical of the Iranian regime, his group listed as top priorities the "safeguard Iran's and Iranian interests, the removal of U.S. economic and political sanctions against Iran, and the commencement of an Iran-U.S. dialogue."

With the Western predilection for dialogue as an effective tool for mediation and change, the history of such endeavours with Iran should cast doubt on the viability of such efforts. Talks between Iran, Britain, Germany and France, for example, began in 2003 and ended in failure. They were intended to ensure that Iran would not develop nuclear weapons. In 2004, an agreement was finally signed between Iran, France, Germany, the U.K. — with support from the European Union — in which Iran agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. Yet Iran reneged on the agreement, asserting its "sovereign right to enrich uranium." Further negotiations and warnings from Western allies that Iran was in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty proved futile, as did ambiguous threats from European nations about punitive action from the UN Security Council.

Although sponsors of the conference are the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service; and the declared aim of the conference is to try better to understand the decision-making process of the Iranian regime in the hope of facilitating reform through policy options; and that it has drawn together a panel of "experts on Iran" from Canada, the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, a Wall Street Journal Report has asserted, about dialogue with Iran, that "public opinion throughout the region will conclude that the United States has at last surrendered to the reality of Iranian rule. The damage to America's regional, if not global influence, could prove irreversible."

Had Iran cooperated with the world community, it would have begun its journey toward a semblance of reform, but instead it remains a rogue nation with a regime that upholds its proxies Hamas and Hizbullah by financial support and training, and with the goal of obliterating Israel.

Recently Reza Cyrus Pahlavi — the older son of the late Shah of Iran, Mohammead Reza Pahlavi — called on 'foreign' countries to stop dialoguing with Iran and instead support those who try to effect change in leadership. Pahlavi even suggested that given the brutality of the Iranian Regime, that some members of the Iranian military may not stand with the regime to the end, beckoning that now was the time for the people of Iran to be emboldened for change as seen in Tunisia and Egypt. Not far from Canada's collective memory looms the story of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi who was detained and arrested by Iranian officials in 2003 for taking pictures of a student protest outside a prison in Tehran. While in custody, she was brutally beaten, tortured and raped. She died from her injuries, a savagery the Iranian authorities initially tried to cover up.

The Canadian International Council conference's intention to engage Iran bears serious implications. In the absence of strict mandates -- which Iran has already rebuffed with its unbending resolve in the face of sanctions — promoting dialogue with Iran amounts to a legitimization of this brutal regime, along with its accomplices, Hizbullah and Hamas.

There is also the lunacy of the mystical menace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to contend with; in 2005 he gave $17 million to the shrine of the 12th Imam who he apparently believes will appear before the next U.S. Presidential election.

Ahmadinejad has also stated that the main mission of the Islamic revolution is to pave the way for the coming of the 12th Imam, a messianic event that according to Shi'a Islam is to be preceded by apocalyptic conditions; a sobering thought given his uranium enrichment program and his outspoken wish to "wipe" Israel off the face of the map.

The letter of petition opposing the Canadian conference stated wisely: "You should refrain from appeasing the Islamic government by all means possible, and certainly should not host those who seek to facilitate and buy time for the regime to develop its nuclear weapons' program using the rhetoric and guise of democracy and hiding behind the flag of human rights."

According to many news sources including The Guardian, Iraqi forces have attacked Camp Ashraf in Iraq and have killed at least 3 people and injured 13. According to MEK the death toll maybe as high as 23.

While many of us may not agree with the MEK ideology we cannot remain silent while fellow Iranians are being massacred. This is not so much political issue as it is a “human issue” and I would urge everyone to break the silence and to condemn this brutal act by the Iraqi forces.

First They came... - Pastor Martin Niemoller
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 the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

The Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense
Jennifer Jeffs, Canadian International Council President
Richard B. Fadden, Canadian Security Intelligence Director
Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion
Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
André Desmarais, President & CEO- Power Corporation of Canada

Re: Iranian Community Expresses Grave Concern Regarding CIC’s “Iran in Context Event”

We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the National Branch of CIC and the University of Ottawa’s upcoming conference “Iran in Context - Regional and Global Implications."

For over three decades, various governments have used dialogue and diplomacy with the regime in Iran to no avail, starting with the administration of President Jimmy Carter, who did everything possible to assure the new regime of American friendship and failed miserably. Since that time, the more world governments have tried to engage the regime’s leaders, the more belligerent, emboldened and abusive they have become. Countries such as Canada, which is well aware of the brutality of the Iranian regime, through the death of the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, and institutions such as yours and the University of Ottawa should support pro-democracy opposition groups. You should refrain from appeasing the Islamic government by all means possible and certainly should not host those who seek to facilitate and buy time for the regime to develop its nuclear weapon’s program using the rhetoric and guise of democracy and hiding behind the flag of human rights.

These apologists, and regime supporters intentionally portray the Islamic government in Iran as a pragmatic and rational entity. They suggest that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way to deal with Iran. They falsely claim that sanctions are not effective and hurt ordinary Iranian people. Recently, primarily due to opposition leaders Mousavi's and Karrubi’s arrests, these apologists are attempting to shift the focus from Iran’s weapons program to what they have decided is more acceptable human rights issues. They have falsely blamed regime’s blatant human rights violations, only second to China's, on U.S. pressure and ridiculously claimed that recognition of the IRI would improve the human rights violations in Iran. The Iranian American community considers Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo and Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) such intellectually dishonest regime apologists. They contribute to regime’s agenda and serve the interests of those in power in the Islamic republic. Ramin Jahanbegloo is a known apologist who seeks reform but not systemic change for Iran, knowing fully well that reform is not possible under the IRI Constitution.

Trita Parsi falsely purports to represent Iranian-American interests in the United States. The Center for Security Policy cites NIAC as a lobby organization for the government of Iran. As a result of a lawsuit, numerous NIAC documents have been brought to light that show NIAC lobbies for policies favorable to the regime in Iran. Law enforcement experts, who have reviewed some of NIAC’s emails, memos and board minutes, believe that NIAC has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws. NIAC has less than 3,000 members, according to Parsi, yet NIAC asserts that it represents the majority of the nearly 1 million Iranian-Americans in the USA. In our view, NIAC and Parsi will eventually be subjected to criminal prosecution and organizations and individuals that collaborate with NIAC will come to regret their affiliations with them.

Currently, the Middle East is in crisis. Pro-democracy forces are springing up daily to demand basic human rights and better living conditions. It is about time that countries such as Canada publicly align themselves with the people who have suffered brutally at the hands of dictators and tyrants. It is time to give honor, dignity, moral imperatives and ethical values precedence over lucrative financial contracts that often occur, wrongly, at the expense of ordinary citizens' lives.

We respectfully request the cancellation of this conference, or the inclusion of representative experts, who can provide a more honest and accurate picture of the current situation and opposition forces inside and outside Iran. Furthermore, Canada must have an enduring commitment to encourage democracy and human rights throughout the world and cannot ignore the fact that the current regime in Iran is a major threat to world’s economic stability and world peace. Canada must encourage and support every group that truly advocates freedom and the rule of law and oppose any regime that denies such progress. At this time, Iran is dominated by a vicious dictator who has proven his lack of concern for his own people on countless occasions. There should be no question that Canada must have every ethical, moral and strategic reason to encourage Iranian democratic movements.

The Iranian opposition groups hope to establish a co-operative relationship with the Canadian people and seek their support in establishing a secular and democratic government in Iran.


The Undersigned

Cina Dabestani, Chairman of Constitutionalist Party of Iran, Washington DC Chapter

The Honorable H. Hakimi, Retired Ambassador

Dr. Arash Irandoost, Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI)

Walton K. Martin III, Director, The Iran Information Project, USA

Dr. Gill Gillespie, Director, The Iran Information Project, UK

Sayeh Hassan, Barrister & Solicitor, pro-democracy activist, Canada

Mehdi Zolfaghari

Parvin Irandoost, Human Rights Advocate


Dr. A. Samadani

Debora M. Andress

Dr. Mansur Rastani

Saied Shemirani, Political Activist: United Persian Organization (Iranbozorg)

Sheri Alvadin, Human Rights Activist and Publisher

Firouzeh Ghaffarpour, Political Activist

Dr. Bijan Eftekhari, Professor of Economics

Caspian Makan, Writer & Film Maker, Human Rights Activist

Tarek Fatah, Founder, Muslim Canadian Congress

Frank Salvato, Executive Director

Zohre Mizrahi, Attorney, Human Rights Advocate

Yasamine Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch

Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch

Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zuckerman, D.D., Chairman, American for Democracy in the Middle-East

Jay Ewasiuk, Edmonton, AB

Behnaz Shariari, Member Stop Child Execution and Human Rights Activist

Hassan Darashti

Ally Bolour, Esq.

Dear Friends,

I wish you all a Happy Nowruz and a wonderful year filled with happiness, health and prosperity. This is a joyous time to spend with family, friends and loved ones. During this joyous time of the year I ask you to remember all political prisoners who are spending Nowruz in Islamic Regime prisons under torture, rape and solitary confinement. Let’s remember the families of political prisoners who are not able to spend Nowruz with their loved ones.

I am dedicating this message to all freedom fighters who have been murdered in one way or another by the Islamic Regime in the past 31 years and to their families.
I sincerely hope that this will be the year we will be able to overthrow the Islamic Regime and create a secular and democratic Iran.

I urge everyone to put their difference aside wether inside or outside of Iran, because we all need each other’s help to be able to achieve this goal. In hopes of being able to celebrate Nowruz in a free, democratic and secular Iran next year.

Happy Nowruz
Sayeh Hassan

Every year Iranians celebrate the last Tuesday of the year by gathering in the streets and jumping over bonfires. In the recent years the Fire Festival has also been used as an excuse to gather and protests against the Regime. This year was no different and despite severe threats by the Islamic Regime Iranians came out and celebrated the fire festival and protested against the Regime.

In Tehran people burned the pictures of Khamenei (the Supreme Leader and Ahmadinejad) and chanted “Mobarak, Ben Ali, its turn of Seyed Ali.” People also jumped over bonfires, sang and danced celebrating the coming of a new year.

Iranians also came out and celebrated the fire festival in Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Rasht and Esfehan combining celebrations with protests against the Islamic Regime.

In Toronto as well Iranians gathered at the Mel-Lastman Square and also combined anti-Regime protests with the fire festival celebrations which included music and dancing. Iranians were able to bring together two things the Regime hates the most, the Lion and Sun Flag with joy and celebration.

Here is hoping that the combination of anti-regime protests and the celebrations will continue into the Persian new year.

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

Today Robert Oliphant, Member of Parliament for Don Valley West attended a pro-democracy rally organized by Iranian activists in Toronto. The rally was organized in solidarity with the February 20th (1 Esfand) anti-government protests in Iran.

Mr. Oliphant addressed the crowd briefly stating that it was not enough for seats to be shuffled (referring to Ahmadinejad and Mousavi) within the Islamic Regime and that he supported Iranian people’s demand for regime change in Iran.

Iranian pro-democracy activists chanted slogans of “Regime Change for Iran and Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran” showing solidarity with the nationwide protests that shook Iran today, and sharing the demands of protestors in Iran for complete Regime change in Iran.

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

Kurdistan and Kurd News: There was a general strike in most areas of the Kurdistan in Iran today.
In the city of Saqez about 70% of all stores and Bazar was closed as the city joined the general strike in a protest against the Islamic Regime.

There were major protests in the city of Mahabad with young protestors coming together at the Esteghlal square and chanting anti-Regime slogans. While the security forces were present and attacking the protestors, the protestors were not backing down and were busy defending themselves using rocks and sticks and were not backing down. The protestors were able to force the security forces to back down in Esteghlal Square. In an attempt to win back control the security forces fired at the protestors killing and injuring at least 4 people.

The city of Bukan also joined the general strike and about 90% of all stores and Bazaar was closed today, even though the presence of security forces was significant and they were trying hard to prevent people from joining the general strike.

In the city of Sanandaj protests took place in various parts of the city, 100’s of security forces were present throughout the city trying to prevent people from closing shop and joining the general strike, however the security forces were not successful and many store owners joined the general strike in Kurdistan by closing shop.

In the city of Marivan as well. Two security forces had been killed by armed opposition groups last night. There were protests in the city with protestors chanting anti-regime slogans. Number of protestors have been arrested by security forces.

In the city of Kermanshah as well protestors gathered in the main square of the city.

In the city of Kamyaran there was a heavy presence of security forces who would not allow for more than a few people to gather at the same time. Also the home of Farzad Kamangar’s father who was executed last May be the Islamic Regime has been surrounded by security forces.

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

Protests in Kurdish Cities:

Mahabad: Large number of protestors have gathered in and around Esteghlal Square and essentially have taken control of this area. Protestors are chanting slogans, throwing rocks at security forces and are attacking them.

Saghz: City of Saqz has joined the general strike in Kurdistan

Sanandaj: The city Sanandaj is under general strike, all stores and business areas are closed.

Protests in Tehran:

Very large number of protestors have gathered from Enghelab to Azadi square to Felestin square to Vali Asr square to Hafte Tir Square, Imam Hossein Square and Arya Shahr. Protestors are chanting death to Khamenei and their numbers are increasing by the minute.

• Protestors have completely taken over Vali-asr Square and parts of Azadi street. While the Basij and other security forces are attacking the protestors, protestors are not taking this lying down and are fighting back!

• Slogan of Death to Dictator in Sahrurdi street:
Tens of protestors gathered on this street were chanting death to dictator around 3pm Tehran time.

• Clashes in Amir Abad between protestors and security forces, while the security forces are trying to create an atmosphere of fear and terror, protestors are fighting back and are not backing down.

Protests in the City of Shiraz

•There are also protest in the city of Shiraz

City of Mashad

Strong presence of security forces in Ahmad Abad Street and Rahnamayi street in the city of Mashad. Security forces are preventing people from stopping in any one area and are pushing them to move forward.


According to Daneshjoo News: At least one protestor has been killed by security forces during the protests in Tehran.

Following the February 14th pro-democracy protests in Iran, where at least two protestors Mohammad Mokhtari and Saneh Jale were shot and murdered by the Islamic Regime, Iranians have called a nationwide pro-democracy protests on Sunday February 20th 2011.

Along with the nationwide protests a general strike has been declared in the Kurdistan of Iran on the same day. The strike is in solidarity with the nationwide pro-democracy protests and a sign of protest against the murder of the Kurdish student Saneh Jale by Regime agents.

It should be noted that worldwide protests have been organized on February 20th to show solidarity with the nationwide protests and the general strike in Kurdistan.
Activists in Toronto have organized a protest at the Mel-Lastman Square between 4-6pm in solidarity with the pro-democracy protests in Iran.

I announce my solidarity with the nationwide protests in Iran and the general strike in the Iranian Kurdistan.

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

February 11 marked the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Due to the world’s focus on Egypt, the event went unnoticed by most, but it was not forgotten. Every February 11th sees anti-government demonstrations in Iran and worldwide, at which pro-democracy activists chant anti-government slogans against the entirety of the Islamic Regime, including not only the leadership, but the reformers. It’s not enough to reform the theocratic regime, say the protesters. It has to be torn down.

Read more:

Tens of activists gathered in Mel-Lastman square today to protest against the Islamic Regime in Iran, which has been in power for 32 years. Today marked 32 years since the Islamic Regime’s highjack of the 1979 Revolution.

Every year activists in Iran and abroad mark this day with anti-Regime protests. This year too Iranians in Toronto came together in freezing cold weather and chanted slogans such as “Regime Change for Iran, Democracy for Iran and Secularism for Iran”.

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

James Bezan a Conservative Member of Parliament speaks out against the Islamic Regime, the recent atrocities and executions in Iran and the effectiveness of oil sanctions as a way for the international community to help the Iranian people bring down the Islamic Regime.

I thank Mr. Bezan for his constant support of the pro-democracy movement in Iran, as well as his tireless efforts to bring awareness about the human rights situation in Iran.

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

Today more than 23 cities worldwide held protests in support of all political prisoners in Iran, and in protest against the recent mass executions carried out by the Islamic Regime. Tens of activists gathered today in Toronto to show their support and solidarity with political prisoners in Iran, and demanding Regime change in Iran. In light of the rise of number of executions in the past two months there is great concern that we might be moving toward another mass murder of thousands of political prisoners, similar to the mass murder of 10,000 political prisoners in Iran in the summer of 1988 (when Hossein Mousavi was the Prime Minister of Iran.)
We must continue putting pressure on the Islamic Regime in every way that we can, while showing our solidarity with political prisoners and all activists in Iran.

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

در پایان هفته ای که گذشت، من در کنفرانس "گذار به دموکراسی در ایران" که در دانشگاه جرج واشنگتن برگزار شد حضور یافتم. این کنفرانس با همکاری کنفدراسیون دانشجویان ایرانی و انستیتوی سیاست گذاری های جهانی برگزار شد.

جضور من در این کنفرانس به عنوان یک عنصر فعال و مستقل صورت پذیرفت با این باور که اگر ما میخواهیم دموکراسی خواهی را رواج دهیم باید از هم اکنون آنرا تمرین کنیم. باوجود اینکه برخی از فعالان سیاسی بمن توصیه کرده بودند که در این کنفرانس حضور نیابم و با وجود اینکه این کنفرانس بحث بسیار بر انگیخته بود، من تصمیم گرفتم که با رفتن به آنجا ارزیابی خودم را در این مورد داشته باشم.
در حالیکه امید میرفت این کنفرانس کاری مثبت و سودبخش بانجام برساند، شوربختانه چنین نشد. رویهمرفته چنین بنظر میرسید که هدف کنفرانس بیشتر تبلیغ برای "کنفدراسیون دانشجویان آیران" همراه با نیم نگاهی به دیدگاههای اصلاح طلبانه بود. آنچه در زیر میآید بازتاب دیدهها و اندیشههای من در مورد پانلها و سخنرانان این کنفرانس است:

روز نخست:
پانل 1 : نسل جدید : در خواست برای، توانمندی ها و چشم انداز سیاسی
.،یکی از سخنرانان در این پانل آقای امیر قلیپور[[گلپری پور]] دبیر کل سابق انجمن اسلامی دانشجویان در دانشگاه تهران و عضو ستاد مرکزی موسوی بود.در حالیکه آقای قلیپور[[گلپری پور]] آشکارا از آقای موسوی حمایت نمیکرد چنین گفت که "مردم ایران رهبری میکنند و آقای موسوی بدنبال آنهاست". او همچنین گفت که بیشتر جوانان تنها به فکر ازادیهای شخصی و فردی خود از قبیل حق ازادی پوشش و آزادی تماس با دوستان جنس مخالف بدون ترس از سرکوب و گرفتاری هستند. به این شیوه ایشان در خواستهای سیاسی نسل جوان را کوچک جلوه داد و آنها را بیشتر محدود به خواستهای شخصی دانست.
،افراد دیگر در پانل شامل: جین کوکان و ناهید کلهری و امین کریمیان بود.

پانل 2 - رهبری مخالفان : در تبعید و یا از درون؟
سخنرانان در این پانل شامل امیر شجره از تلویزیون بین المللی پارس بود که، یکی از معدود سخنرانانی بود که بروشنی مواضعی ضد رژیم اسلامی داشت.
یکی دیگر از سخنرانان علیرضا نوری زاده بود که به عنوان یک اصلاح طلب به خوبی شناخته شده است و بیشتر از سخنان خود را صرف تلاش برای متقاعد کردن مخاطبین نمود تا از گذشته موسوی و اینکه هزاران زندانی در زمان نخست وزیری او اعدام شده اند حرفی بمیان نیاورند زیرا از وحدت و یگانگی و نیز از پیشر فت مبارزه جلوگیری میکند. آیشان همچنین به واژه "سکولاریزم" حمله کرد و چنین اظهار داشت که 60% از مردم ایران از این واژه وحشت دارند و چنین میاندیشند که معنی آن اینست که کسی خواهد آمد و دامن دخترانشان را بر تن آنها میدراند. آقای نوریزاده اشاره ای به منبع آمار خود نکرد.

پانل 3 - گذر به دموکراسی : چالش ها و فرصتها
سخنرانان در این پانل شامل ایوان مارویچ یکی از بنیانگذاران آتپور، جنبش دانشجویی سیاسی صربی، جیمی ترونس، معاون مدیر موسسه بین المللی جمهوریخواهان برای آفریقا،و بنجامین، رابرت، مدیر انستیتو ملی حزب دموکرات از اروپا مرکزی و شرقی بود.
پانل 4 - جدید قانون اساسی- اصلاحات یا تغییر رژیم؟
من یکی از سخنرانان در این پانل بودم و متن سخنرانی من در یک پست جداگانه به همراه تصاویر خواهد آمد.
یکی دیگر از سخنرانان امیر فخرآور بود، که در باره ضرورت قانون اساسی جدید سخنانی گفت(که با یاری همکارانشان نوشته شده بود)..

روز دوم
پانل 5 - سکولاریسم : معانی جایگزین
یکی از سخنرانان در این پانل آقای افشین ایلیان، استاد حقوق و فلسفه از هلند بود. آقای ایلیان یکی دیگر از سخنرانانی بود که اظهار داشت گذشته موسوی هیچ اهمیتی ندارد و اینکه او در حال حاضر خوب کار میکند و مردم هم او را به عنوان رهبر خود انتخاب کرده اند بنا بر این ما نباید میان خودمان جدائی بیاندازیم و باید در کنار هم بمانیم.
پذیرفتن سخنان آقای ایلیان برای من دشوار بود و بهمین جهت در زمان پرسش و پاسخ از او پرسشهائی کردم که در زیر میآید:

پرسش: "بعنوان یک استاد در رشته قانون شما میدانید که اگر کسی در کشورهای غربی دیگری را سیلی بزند بطور قانونی قابل تعقیب است و اگر در دادگاه قانون محکوم شود تنبیه خواهد شد. چگونه شما انتظار دارید که ما گذشته موسوی و اعدام هزاران زندانی سیاسی در زمان نخست وزیری ایشان را نادیده بگیریم؟ پاسخ شما به خانوادههای آن زندانیان چیست و آیا شما با این سخن که اهمیتی ندارد چه اتفاقی در گذشته رخ داده، به سرکوبگران فعلی مانند بسیجیها، پاسدارها و سردمداران دولتی چراغ سبز نمیدهید؟

آقای ایلیان مستقیما به پرسش من پاسخی نداد و بجای آن سخن از این گفت که پیگیری این افراد بسیار دشوار خواهد بود زیرا آنان باحتمال بسیار زیاد همه شواهد بزهکاریهای خود را نابود خواهند کرد و در نتیجه انجام این پیگیری هزینه مالی هنگفتی خواهد داشت.آقای ایلیان همچنین انکار کرد که گفته است گذشته موسوی را باید فراموش کرد.
این موضوع مرا ناچار کرد که به آقای ایلیان یاد آور شوم که ایشان چنین مطلبی را گفتند و پاسخ قابل پذیرشی هم به پرسش من دادند.

پانل 6 - رسانه های جدید : انقلاب اینترنتی و فردگرایی
من در این پانل شرکت نداشتم اما سخنرانان این پانل شامل روزبه میر ابراهیمی، مهدی سحرخیز و بهنام ناطقی بود(بر اساس برنامه کنفرانس)
پانل 7 - تحریم : تغییر رفتار یا تغییر رژیم؟
یکی از سخنرانان در این پانل ابوالفضل اسلامی، کنسول پیشین جمهوری اسلامی در ژاپن بود. آقای اسلامی که سالها برای جمهوری اسلامی کار کرده در سال 2009 و پس از خیزش مردم ایران در جریان انتخابات رئیس جمهوری استعفا داد. آقای اسلامی ادعا میکند که خشونت دولت در مقابل مردم دلیل استعفای او بود. پرسش اینست که آیا آقای اسلامی در سالهای پیش از انتخابات 2009 از خشونت دولت بر ضد مردم آگاه نبود؟
واقعیت این است که میلیون ها ایرانی به خیابان ها ریختند و اعتراض کردند،و جنبش هر چه بیشتر رادیکال تر و بنیانی میشد بطوری که پایان عمر رژیم نزدیک بنظر میآمد. چه راهی بهتر از این برای یک دیپلمات جمهوری اسلامی وجود داشت که در این شرایط استعفا دهد و بدینوسیله در صورت بر افتادن رژیم از پیگرد مصون بماند و امنیت خود را تضمین کند؟ این نوع از استعفاها در بهترین حالت خدمت بخود و فرصت طلبی است. با این حال به نظر می رسید که من تنها کسی بودم در این کنفرانس که چنین احساسی داشتم. آقای فخر آور در هر فرصتی مشغول ستایش از آقای مهندس اسلامی و حضار در هر موقعیتی مشغول کف زدن برای او بودند و با او بمانند قهرمانی برخورد میشد نه یک فرضت طلب که تا آخرین لحظه ها در مقام دولتی خود باقی مانده بود.
یکی دیگر از کسانی که در همایش حضور یافت اما سخنی نگفت آقای موسوی خوئینی بود که در گذشته از نمایندگان اصلاح طلب در مجلس بوده و اکنون در واشنگتن زندگی میکند. آقای فخر آور از آقای خوئینی هم بخاطر پیگیری درخواستهای دانشجویان در مجلس ستایش کرد که یکبار دیگر با کف زدن حضار همراه شد.

برای من نگران کننده ترین بخش این همایش تنها حضور این مقامات سابق رژیم اسلامی نبود بلکه برخوردی بود که آنها را بصورت قهرمانان ملی در آورده بود .این واقعیت که برخی از مقامات رژیم اسلامی استعفا داددند بدون شک برای جنبش مردم چیز مفید و مثبتی است اما بهتر است که ما در این مورد توهمی نداشته باشیم.اگر مردمی، که سالیان متمادی برای رژیم بدون هیچ گونه نگرانی برای حقوق مردم کار کرده اند، امروز استعفا میدهند، به این دلیل است که این بیش از هرچیز و پیشتر از همه، بسود خود آنهاست. این موضوع آینده آنها را تضمین و به آنها اجازه میدهد در یک کشور سوم با آسودگی زندگی کنند.

به طور کلی ،مرکز توجه کنفرانس بیشتر بر کنفدراسیون دانشجویان ایرانی با رنگ اصلاح طلبی بود. برای من به عنوان یک فرد روز، سوم با وجود اشخاصی مانند آقای اسلامی یا آقای خوئینی قابل هضم نبود و بهمین جهت در روز پایانی حضور در آنجا نداشتم.
امیدوارم در آینده بتوانیم همایشی در باره دگرگونی رژیم بدون هیچگونه بحث اصلاح طلبانه داشیم بدون.

سرنگون باد جمهوری اسلامی
زنده باد آزادی در ایران

Please find below the text of my speech at the Iran Democratic Transition Conference in Washington DC as well as the video of my speech.

The Islamic Regime Constitution: Reform v. Regime Change

Hello Everyone. It is a great pleasure to be here today and to speak to you about a topic that is very important to me, Regime Change in Iran.

The theme of this conference is a democratic transition in Iran and a hot topic, not only in this conference, but generally in the Iranian Diaspora is the question of reform versus Regime change.

I have been major advocate of complete and total Regime change in Iran, because I don’t believe a dictatorship regime that has been involved in the systematic oppression of its people for the past 31 years is worthy or capable of reform.

When discussing the issue of reform versus Regime change the most important piece of law we have to look at is the Islamic Regime’s constitution. Is there any possibility of reforming the current constitution in order to make it compatible with fundamental concepts such as human rights, democracy and secularism?

The permeable of the Islamic Regime Constitution states: “The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran sets forth the cultural, social, political and economic institutions of the people of Iran, based on Islamic principles and rules and reflecting the fundamental desires of the Islamic people.”

From the onset the Constitution defines itself as “Islamic” as it relates to the “Islamic People.” When the very basic root of the constitution is based on Islam it leaves no room for the concept of secularism, and the separation of religion from state. An Islamic constitution, even with reforms can never become secular, because the root of it is based in religion. The constitution also does not take into consideration the “non-Islamic” people, the Jews, Christians, Zorostarians, Bahai’s, Agnostic and Atheists who also live in the Iranian society and must be given the same rights and consideration regardless of their religious beliefs.

Women in the Constitution:

Women who make up about 50% of the Iranian population are given one dominant role in the constitution: Motherhood. The goal of the Islamic Regime for the past 31 years has been segregating women in the work force, schools and universities, public transportation, sports arenas and even at the beach, trying very hard to remove them from the society and put them back in the home as mothers and homemakers.

Fortunately the Regime has not been successful because Iranian women have fought back, tooth and nail, often risking their freedom and even their lives in order to claim the rights which are rightfully theirs. More than 50% of university students in Iran are women; women are active in the work force, sports, cinema, literature, art and even politics.

Today women are in the front lines of the protests against the Regime, fighting side by side with men, fighting with everything they have for a society where they can enjoy the same rights, freedoms and responsibilities as men in the society. In order for that to happen we need a constitution that is based on rule of law rather than on religion.

There is also the judiciary and the mass communication which are also based in Islam, which I will not get into today.

Leaving the constitution aside for a moment the past 13 years in Iran has been a clear indicator that the Islamic Regime is not capable of reform. This became especially clear during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, the so called reformist president whose biggest accomplishment was adding another 8 years to the life of the Islamic Regime, which had weakened significantly in the mid to late 90’s. Iran has experienced a reformist president for two terms, two bloody terms where student dissidents were arrested, tortured, executed or murdered in prisons. The presidency of the so called reformist Khatami also marks some of the worst human rights violations committed by the Islamic Regime in the past 31 years.

Fast forwarding to the 2009 [s]elections (I call it a selection not because Ahmadinejad won, but because of the selection process of the candidates and the way they are handpicked by the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council). Mousavi and Karoubi the so called reformist candidates were handpicked by the “Supreme Leader” and the guardian council from among 400+ candidates. They were picked not because they were in anyway a threat, but because they were an integrated part of the Islamic Regime, and still are.

Most recently when brave Iranians took to the streets with the slogan of “independence, freedom, Iranian Republic” Mr. Mousavi came out and said the peoples slogan must be “Islamic Republic, not one word more and not one word less”. Mousavi is a supporter of the Islamic Regime and all the atrocities committed by the Regime. He has shown over and over in the past year and a half that he stands with the Regime and against the people.

The important question now is how do we achieve Regime Change in Iran? One thing is for certain, human rights is not enough. Human rights work can only take us so far, while we may be able to save one person from execution the Regime will go ahead and kill two more just to make a point. There are thousands of nameless and faceless political prisoners in Iran whom we will never be able to help, because we don’t know who they are. If we want to create real change and help protect the rights of all political prisoners, all ethnic and religious minorities and the Iranian people as a whole we must also focus on Regime change.

It is not a secret that even the Regime itself has created human rights activists and organizations for the sole purpose of instilling terror and fear in the heart of the Iranian people. These organizations receive very detailed information about torture, rape and execution of political prisoners from mysterious sources, they “smuggle out” videos of torture and rape from prisons for the sole purpose of making people afraid, to show them what will happen if they dare oppose the Regime.

These groups make contacts with activists in Iran and expose these activists to the Regime, so that they are arrested, tortured and thought a lesson not to oppose the Regime.

While it is important to be the voice of the voiceless the best and the most effective way to do it is by focusing on Regime change rather than solely on human rights.

We also need the help of the international community, not by way of military intervention, but by open support for the pro-democracy movement and by pushing for smart sanctions, in particular oil sanctions against the Islamic Regime.
Being an Iranian/Canadian I need to point out that the current Canadian Government has been extremely supportive of the Iranian people’s pro-democracy movement in Iran, by condemning human rights violations committed by the Islamic Regime on a regular basis, and by being one of the only governments that is pushing and supporting smart sanctions, especially oil and gas sanctions against the Regime.

I urge other governments to follow in the same path.

The video of my speech. Unfortunately the quality is not very good.