The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to re-establish relations with Iran is due to its adherence to a “stupid” Canadian law allowing the seizure of Iranian assets, says Canada’s recently expelled ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Dennis Horak, who was expelled from Saudi Arabia in August after its rulers were incensed by a tweet from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, offered that blunt assessment as he shed new light on another controversial moment in Canada’s Middle East relations.
Six years ago, the previous Conservative government abruptly severed its diplomatic relations with Iran, shuttering its embassy in Tehran and expelling Iranian diplomats from Canada.
The current Liberal government campaigned in 2015 on re-establishing diplomatic relations with Iran but it has been unable to deliver on that foreign policy promise because Iran appears unwilling to re-engage.
Horak, who retired recently, said one obstacle is standing in the way: the passage in 2012 of Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which allows victims of terrorism to sue countries that are listed as supporters of terrorism.
Among other things, the law paved the way for last year’s Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the seizure of US$1.7 billion in private Iranian assets by a group of American plaintiffs whose loved ones were killed in terrorist attacks sponsored by the Iranian regime.
“It was a stupid law. And it’s still a stupid law,” Horak told a meeting of the Canadian International Council in Ottawa this week.
The show — translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), who posted the clip on Twitter — also features the kids ogling anti-aircraft missiles that “fight enemies of Iran.”
Frequently, Shiite Islamic preachers and leaders can be heard stating that Islam recognized “People of the Book,” which refers to Christians and Jews. This assertion sounds as if Islam gives Christian and Jews the same level of status and respect as their Muslim counterparts.
That argument was recently confirmed when the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, claimed that “Christians have the same rights as others do.” With that confirmation, it might be easy to assume that Christians are relatively safe in Iran. But are they?
If anyone was hoping that removing Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip would improve the situation there and boost the chances of peace between Palestinians and Israel, they are in for a big disappointment. Hamas, which violently seized control over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, is not the only terrorist group in the coastal enclave, home to some two million Palestinians.
An Iranian diplomat who is the suspected mastermind of an attack that allegedly was planned on Iranians living in exile in France has been extradited from Germany to Belgium, security officials said.
Previously identified as Assadollah Assadi by AFP, the 46-year-old diplomat based in Austria was arrested in the southern German state of Bavaria on July 1.
He was extradited to Belgium on October 9 after a court in Bamberg approved an extradition request last week, police and prosecutorial officials said.
In a speech before the United Nations on September 20, 2017, presumably as a way to support his claim that Israel is “a rogue and racist regime [that] trample[s] upon the most basic rights of the Palestinians,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani repeatedly portrayed his government as dedicated to “moderation and respect for human rights,” adding:
“We in Iran strive to build peace and promote the human rights of peoples and nations. We never condone tyranny and we always defend the voiceless. We never threaten anyone…”
In response to a U.N. court order that the U.S. lift sanctions on Iran, the Trump administration said Wednesday it was terminating a decades-old treaty affirming friendly relations between the two countries. The move is a largely symbolic gesture that highlights deteriorating relations between Washington and Tehran.
An ethnic Kurd, Sekaanvand was 15 when she married her husband, according to Amnesty, and she was sentenced to death in October 2014 following a “grossly unfair trial” for allegedly stabbing him to death.
The Iranian regime’s charm offensive in Europe has suffered a double blow with a decision by France to freeze the assets of two suspected intelligence operatives, shortly after a German court approved the extradition of one of the two – an accredited diplomat – who is accused of planning a terror bombing on European soil.
Israel plans to share recently obtained intelligence on covert Iranian nuclear activity, as well as on its efforts to arm its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, with several countries worldwide in an effort to drive them to act against the Islamic republic.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations General Assembly this week where he accused Iran of hiding a nuclear storage facility.
On Thursday, Netanyahu held up photos of secret Iranian nuclear sites, and said before the assembly, “Today I am disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran.”
Why Germany seeks to increase trade with a murderous theocracy bent on Israel’s destruction
In a remarkable comment that was ignored by the German media last month, the president of the country’s roughly 100,000-member Central Council of Jews suggested that Germany has failed to internalize the lessons of the Holocaust. According to Dr. Josef Schuster, Angela Merkel’s flourishing trade with a regime in Tehran that is both the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world and also the world’s top sponsor of lethal anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, is incompatible with the spirit of the Federal Republic’s own foundational commitments, and with the laws of a country where Holocaust denial is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
During a recent speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hinted that America would support the Iranian people should they seek to replace their regime. “While it is ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country,” Pompeo said, “the United States…. will support [their] long-ignored voice…”
What “direction,” then, is that? Are the Iranian people actually seeking regime change? If they are, why have past protests failed and how can current demonstrations have a better chance of success?
National Security Adviser John Bolton delivered a no-holds-barred warning to Iran at a major summit in New York on Tuesday, telling the regime in a fiery speech that “we are watching, and we will come after you” and that there will be “hell to pay” if it continues on its current course.
Bolton’s saber-rattling remarks came hours after President Trump, in his own dramatic address to the U.N. General Assembly, called on “all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues.”
Islamic State’s Amaq agency has posted a video of three men in a vehicle who it said were on their way to carry out an attack on an Iranian military parade, which killed at least 25 and wounded 60 others.
— Walid (@walid970721) September 23, 2018