Pro-democracy forces in Toronto turned the reformist event where the key note speaker was Mojtaba Vahedi into an anti-Regime protest.
International Centre for Human Rights in Iran headed by a well known reformist in Toronto, Hassan Ardeshir Zarazadeh had organized an event featuring Mojtaba Vahedi, the former chief advisor to Karoubi and a current advisor, who according to his own speech still has a lot of respect for both Karoubi and Mousavi. Other individuals on this panel were Farokh Zandi from the Green Seculars of Toronto, Reza Moridi a member of the Provincial Parliament in Ontario and Ardeshir Zarazadeh himself.
Independent activists like myself as well as various opposition groups had announced a protest both outside of the venue of this event at Mel Lastman Saquare, as well as protests inside, in form of question and answers and various commentary.
While tens of protestors gathered outside of Mel Lastman Square with Lion and Sun flags and chanted anti Regime slogans tens of activists attended the event and essentially took over the question and answer period voicing their opposition not only to Mojtaba Vahedi who is still closely linked to Karoubi, but to the Islamic Regime itself.
I was the first speaker and stated that “while the Islamic Regime must be overthrown including both the hardliners and reformists, Vahedi had overlooked the obvious point that he is someone that has worked for the Islamic Regime for 30 years, and his hands are dirty with the blood of Iranian people. I also stated that it was not so easy to wash his hands off of the blood and cross over and state that he is no longer a reformist (especially in the face of obvious regard he still feels for Mousavi and Karoubi.) I also stated that both Karoubi and Vahedi were two of the individuals who had to be prosecuted for their crimes against the Iranian people.” I also clearly stated that I do not regard him or Ardeshi Zarazadeh as opposition and that Farokh Zandi had drawn a clear line between himself and the opposition by joining this pro-reform event. While Mojtaba Vahedi wanted to respond to my comments I stated that this event and Vahedi had no credibility and that I had no question for him, I was only there to voice my opposition.
Many other activists were also in line, voicing their opposition to this Regime Agent who seeing that the Regime is about to be overthrown has decided to cross over without any accountability for his high profile role within the Islamic Regime in the past 30 years.
Until recently Karoubi was a high ranking Regime official who served as head of Parliament, he was the founder of Martyrdom Foundation where systematic human rights violations were carried out against innocent people, as well as one of the only four individuals (among 400) who was permitted by the Guardian Council to participate in presidential [s]elections. As a chief advisor to Karoubi, for close to 30 years, Vahedi is also guilty of systematic and brutal human rights violations against the Iranian people.
What I found amusing during this event was the comments of other speakers who did their best to try to excuse the crimes committed by high ranking regime officials such as Mojtaba Vahedi, by stating that the fact that they had made “mistakes” in the past was not important, that the mistakes should be forgotten and that they should be given a second chance.
Reza Moridi in particular compared high ranking Islamic Regime officials to Canadian Government officials who may have made mistakes in the past… I don’t believe any Canadian Government official carries the blood of thousands of Canadians on his/her hand.
It is extremely disturbing that a publicly elected Canadian Government official would accept to sit at a panel with a high ranking Islamic Regime official who is yet to cut all ties with the Regime, let alone trying to excuse the past behavior of this and other Islamic Regime officials.
Farokh Zandi the head of Green Seculars in Toronto also lost what ever credibility he may have had in the eyes of the opposition by choosing to sit on a panel with Mojtaba Vahedi.
All in all no doubt this event was a great disappointment for the organizers and Mojtaba Vahedi himself who has tried hard for the past few years to pose himself as “opposition” rather than a high ranking Islamic Regime official who is responsible for gross human rights violations against the Iranian people and must be prosecuted in a court of law.
The opposition was present and strong as usual and we were able to send the clear message that Mojtaba Vahedi and the likes of him are not welcome in Toronto and certainly not welcome among the opposition.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran