We are writing on to express our deep gratitude for your principled decision to sever diplomatic ties with the clerical regime in Iran. Canada has been a beacon of hope for Iranians who for the past 33 years have witnessed Western governments put their commercial and economic serf-interests ahead of abiding by human rights standards.
Rt. Hon. John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada
2249 Carling Avenue, Suite 418 Ottawa,
Ontario K2B 7E9
Re: Closure of Canadian Embassy in Iran
Dear Mr. Baird,
We are writing on to express our deep gratitude for your principled decision to sever diplomatic ties with the clerical regime in Iran. Canada has been a beacon of hope for Iranians who for the past 33 years have witnessed Western governments put their commercial and economic serf-interests ahead of abiding by human rights standards. Your courageous stand was a balm to our collective wounds. We feel safer that the regime will have one less platform to intimidate and spy on Iranian-Canadians.
To be sure, the closure of the embassy may pose numerous challenges to expatriate Iranians living in Canada needing consular services in their adopted home and likewise for Iranians interested in traveling or immigrating to Canada. We think this is a negligible price to pay for ostracizing a regime that has rightly been regarded as a pariah. Please do not be discouraged by the negativity of a clear minority in the Iranian-Canadian community that has characterized your decision as rash and imprudent.
As we are sure you will recall, in the 1980s, when the apartheid regime of South Africa faced mounting isolation in the international community, those fighting to upend the white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule welcomed the escalating sanction against their own government. Iran’s system of government is a religious version of the Apartheid regime that oppressed South Africa’s black majority for decades. The Islamic Republic deserves no less of a harsh treatment.
In conclusion, we encourage the government to continue to publicly make the differentiation between freedom-loving Iranians and the small minority of hardliners in power in Iran so that Iranian-Canadians are not targets of racism in this country. We hope that you see to it that the Iranian public does not become collateral damage as a result of your long overdue decision to cut off ties with the Islamic Republic. Iran’s human rights organizations and NGOs that do valuable work need and appreciate Canada’s support more than ever.
1- Dr. Houshang Bouzari, President International Coalition against torture (InCAT) – Toronto
2- Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir, President The International Center for Human Rights – Toronto
3- Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay, President and co Founder Stop Child Executions – Ottawa
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Parliament of Canada