In a new wave of sanctions against the Islamic Regime in Iran, Canada has added 98 additional individuals and entities to the list of “designated persons who are surrounding and supporting Iran’s nuclear program.”

Two of these entities are the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the paramilitary Basij forces. Those on the list will be subject to an asset freeze in Canada which is welcome news for many Iranian Canadian organizations and activists like myself who have been lobbying for these types of sanctions for many years.

Sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij is especially significant and welcome news for Iranians because of the involvement of these two entities in the systematic and brutal human right violations against the Iranian people. This includes attacking pro-democracy protesters, beating them with knives, clubs and chains, arresting them, raping and torturing them in prisons and even shooting and killing protesters in the street.

Also let us not forget about the role of the Revolutionary Guards in supporting international terrorism and dictatorship regimes in the area such as Assad’s government in Syria.

While I welcome the new sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij I urge the Canadian Government to continue to identify individuals and entities residing in Canada, who are affiliated with the Islamic Regime in Iran, and to freeze their assets and review their immigration files and make sure they do not create a safe heaven for themselves in Canada!

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

The Student movement has always been a strong force to reckon with, and has been very active in the fight to overthrow the Islamic Regime in Iran.

The Student movement found its real strength during the July 9th 1999 uprising, which shook the Regime to the core and has continued the fight against the Regime with a tireless effort. Many student leaders and activists have been arrested, tortured and imprisoned over the years and the systematic arrest, torture and imprisonment of student activists continues.

Today I am commemorating 16 Azar the National Student Day in Iran, and dedicating this post to all brave Iranian students who are relentlessly fighting for a secular and democratic Iran, and a special dedication to Akbar Mohammadi, a student leader who was killed in the Iranian Regime prisons and who has always served as a symbol of strength and resistance against the Islamic Regime in Iran.

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran

Long Live Freedom In Iran

According to Saeed Malekpours’ lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai, Saeed Malekpours’ death sentence has been suspended. Mr. Malekpour was a Canadian resident who was arrested in 2008 when he traveled to Iran to visit his sick father. He was “convicted” of charges of creating a network of pornographic websites and sentenced to death.

It is important to note that Mr. Malekpours family has not yet received any written confirmation as to the suspension of the death sentence. Iran has been known to “suspend” death sentences and then reinstate them, as in the case of another Iranian Canadian Hamid Ghasemi Shall who also awaits execution in Iran.

The suspension of Mr. Malekpour’s death sentence ( if true and permanent) may very well be an attempt by the Islamic Regime to gain brownie points from the Canadian Government and this news must be treated with great caution.

While Mr. Malekpour may have escaped from execution, it is crucial to keep in mind that hundreds (if not more) political prisoners in Iran still face execution including a Canadian citizen Mr. Hamid Ghasemi Shall.

The Islamic Regime in Iran is a brutal dictatorship that has stayed in power through arrests, torture, rape and execution of anyone that dares to stand up against it and even non-political individuals such as Mr. Malekpour. The international community and in particular Canada must continue its hard stand against the Regime including political isolation and tough sanctions, and to condemn the brutal systematic human rights violations in Iran.

The suspension of Mr. Malekpours’ death sentence is news worth celebrating, it is important to keep in mind that this is very likely an attempt by the Regime to decrease some of the pressure that has been put on it by the Canadian Government. It is not enough for the death sentence of one prisoner to be “suspended,” unless and until the Islamic Regime is overthrown innocent Iranians will continue to be subjected to arrest, torture, rape and execution.

While we celebrate this recent news, we must continue the fight for the overthrow of the Islamic Regime and ask the Canadian Government to continue to politically isolate the Regime and show its support for the pro-democracy movement in Iran which seeks to overthrow the Islamic Regime.

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

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