Prime Minister Harper’s Conservative government said it intended to boycott an upcoming disarmament conference chaired by Iran. His exact term for the meeting was “mockery”. He applauded Canada’s continuing attempt to topple the government of Iran.
John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Minister, indicated that the country will continue the policies it began last year. They began by expelling Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, and removing their own from Tehran.
Baird said Canada has launched a social media campaign to incite democratic opposition to the Iranian regime, both globally and behind the country’s notorious “Halal” fire wall. In this way, the government can block the people’s access to websites outside of Iran after only sixty seconds.
Mr. Baird was speaking in Toronto, where the government was launching “Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran”. It is a network designed to broadcast academic debates both in Farsi and English.
“Since we suspended diplomatic relations with Iran in September of last year, we’ve been expanding our outreach with Iranians in Canada and Iranians around the world, and we’ve been asking them a number of questions, but one of the most important questions is, ‘What can Canada do to counter the threat posed by the Iranian regime?’” said a government source, speaking on background.
The answer came quickly:
“The Iranian people need weapons, but when they say ‘weapons,’ they don’t mean small arms or heavy weapons. They mean access to the free internet, the ability to have an unfettered conversation among themselves, the ability for people inside the country to hear the democratic voices based outside the country, the ability to connect and engage in a free and open debate about the future of their country,” the official said. “So this Global Dialogue is the government of Canada’s inaugural effort to facilitate, support and encourage that requirement.”
Mr. Baird spoke directly to the Iranian people, telling them that what the leaders of their country feared most was in their hands. A free and honest election, unlike the past in 2009, strikes fear into their Theocratic leaders.
Baird directly attacked the Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is “the greatest threat to international peace and security in the world today,” Mr. Baird said. “The regime is hollow. It does not have the depth, the intellect, the humanity, or the humility to bring about a better future for its people.”
Now that Canada has removed all pretense of maintaining any and all diplomatic relations with Iran, some critics fear that their efforts to reach out to the country’s people may not be enough.
Houchang Hassan-Yari, a professor of politics at Royal Military College of Canada, who has also taught in Iran, casts doubt that words alone will inspire the people of Iran to rise up against their government.
“Are those people going to get out on the street and call for the end of the regime?” Prof. Hassan-Yari said. “They did in 2009, what was the result?”
He was referencing the rioting after that year’s election when the government stuffed ballot boxes enabling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be declared the victor. Thousands were arrested, and some were tortured and killed.
A strained relationship between Canada and Iran began to escalate in 2003. Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer was arrested by the police in Iran, and eventually she was tortured and killed.
Adding to the discord was the recent plot to attack the VIA train system. The RCMP claimed the planned terror attack was initiated by al-Qaeda factions inside of Iran.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry responded by calling the allegation ridiculous. He said that al-Qaeda is composed of Sunni fundamentalists, and Iran’s theocracy is composed of Shia.
“We simply lost what little faith we had in this regime,” Mr. Baird said. “But we have never lost faith in the people of Iran. In fact, we want to expand our relations with Iranians, free from the regime’s filters.”
The Guardian Express