Canada must not Restore Diplomatic Ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran and has a Duty to Canadians not to re-open their Embassy in Ottawapublished on Wednesday, September 14, 2016
The Honourable Justin Trudeau-Prime Minister of Canada:
The Honourable Stéphane Dion- Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Re: Canada must not Restore Diplomatic Ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran and has a Duty to Canadians not to re-open their Embassy in Ottawa When Canada decided to cut diplomatic ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran four years ago, many Iranian Canadians rejoiced that the Islamic Regime’s Embassy in Ottawa also known as the “House of Terror” would finally be shut down.
At the time many in the Iranian Canadian Community referred to the Embassy as the “House of Terror” because the Embassy served as an operation headquarters for attempts to spy on Canadians and manipulate public policy and opinion. It identified and intimidated pro-democracy activists, with particular regard to Iranian Canadian dissidents whose families in Iran may have been vulnerable. Along with front organizations Embassy personnel penetrated our universities and some “students” boasting embassy connections warned campus democracy activists not to get out of line.
On the eve of the four (4) year anniversary of Canada breaking diplomatic ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran, the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) created a petition asking the Canadian Government to re-establish ties with the Islamic Regime in Iran and to re-open the embassy.
It is important to note that ICC does not represent the Iranian Canadian Community as a whole, but only a small numbers of Iranians most of them currently based in Toronto. It is further important to note that while a fraction of our community may support the re-opening of the Islamic Regime Embassy in Ottawa, there is a large number of us who vehemently oppose it!
There is great concern among our community about Islamic Regime’s systematic human rights violations against women, students, journalists, workers, teachers, religious and ethnic minorities and political dissidents in Iran. We watch in horror as Islamic Regime continues to have one of the highest rates of executions in the world. We are horrified to watch our brothers and sisters as they are arrested, arbitrarily detained and tortured for peacefully protesting or standing up for their rights.
We are also extremely concerned about the health and well being of Iranian Canadians currently detained by the Islamic Regime in Iran, including Saeed Malekpour and Homa Hoodfar. As you are well aware Mr. Malekpour has been detained for over eight (8) years, while Ms. Hoodfar was arrested in June of this year and there are serious concerns with regards to her health.
Lastly as opponents of the Islamic Regime in Iran, and activists who campaigned for years for Canada to cut diplomatic ties with the Regime and shut down its embassy, we have serious concerns about the re-opening of the “House of Terror” and the effects that might have on our safety and safety of our families and friends in Iran, as well as our ability to peacefully oppose the Islamic Regime.
We are urging the Canadian Government to continue to take a strong stand against Iran’s human rights violations, and take into account the safety and security of Iranian Canadians living in Canada. We urge Canada not to re-engage with Islamic Regime at a time when the Regime is holding Iranian Canadians hostage and brutalizing its own people.
It’s crucial for Canada to take a strong stand and make it clear to the Islamic Regime that torture, rape, public executions and hostage taking of dual citizens will not be rewarded by renewal of diplomatic relations and the re-opening of the Islamic Regime’s Embassy.
Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Blogger and Pro-Democracy Activist
Mahmood Ahmadi, Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights and Worker’s Rights Activist
Radio Payam Canada
Mansoureh Nasserchian, Activist, freelancer
Shabnam Assadollahi, Human Rights Activist, Freelance journalist, Former Radio Producer and Host
Homa Arjomand, Coordinator of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court In Canada
Avideh Motmaen Far, political activist, journalist
Yad Mahmodi, Secretariat of the international Committee Against Execution
Iraj Rezaei, Council of Iranian Refugees and Immigrants in Toronto
Soheila Dalvand, Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPPI), Canada branch
David Aram, Iranian, Canadian labour Solidarity, Canada