Human rights activists meet with Conservative MPs to demand Trudeau list Iran's IRGC as terrorist entity in Canada

Human rights activists met with Conservative MPs to describe why they feel the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps needs to be listed as a terrorist entity in Canada.

Beth Baisch Toronto ON

Human rights activists travelled to Ottawa to meet with Conservative MPs on Monday to describe why they feel the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) needs to be listed as a terrorist entity in Canada. Their audience included Conservative MPs Jasraj Singh Hallan, and Garnett Genuis.

President of the Council of Iranian Canadians Avideh Rafaëla Motmâenfar opened the meeting by saying it has been 4 years since the Canadian government passed a motion to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity, yet it still has not been enacted.

Delivering her speech in both English and French, Motmaenfar said that the IRGC "has supported other terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas who perpetrate antisemitic crimes and coordinate terror attacks against Canada's allies in the rest if the world."

Mehrzad Zarei, whose 17-year-old son Arad died when Ukrainian flight PS752 was shot down in 2020 was one of the speakers, describing the experience of losing his son, and his disgust at seeing Justin Trudeau bow and shake hands with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif.

Former political prisoner Salman Sima described his experience in solitary confinement in Iran as being torture where he would be beaten up for refusing to answer questions.

"I was lucky I was able to escape from these horrible crimes, but at the same time I am sad that what happened to me continues to happen to many political prisoners," he said, adding "Still, the brutal regime tortures and executes people. Still, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is not on the list of terrorist organizations."

Director of the International Center For Human Rights Ardeshir Zarezadeh said "We are here to reflect the voice of the voiceless, those Justin Trudeau does not want to hear," he said. "Unfortunately our Liberal government is not listening to anyone."

"IRGC is not just the military. It's the government. It's the real government in Iran. They're in control of [the] economy, politics, military, intelligence," Zarezadeh said. "The IRGC is a terrorist organization. It's a proven fact."

The two MPs took questions, and in their responses highlighted Trudeau's inaction, and how he isn't respecting the victims of PS752.

"We should be putting the victims first, and what Justin Trudeau is doing is not respecting the victims of this, and their family members. It was the will of Parliament that he's also not respecting," Hallan said in response to a question from The Post Millennial.

Genuis also spoke about the importance of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and said that the Conservative Party of Canada will continue to make the case that "our government should stand behind those in Iran who are pushing for a recognition of their fundamental dignities as human beings."

Genuis originally called on the Canadian government to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity back in 2018. In 2000, following the downing of Ukrainian flight PS752 in Iran which killed 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents—and which many believe was an intentional act—saw widespread condemnation and renewed calls from human rights groups for Canada to finally add the IRGC to the terrorist list.

In May, what was promoted as a "friendly" soccer match between Canada and Iran was cancelled following backlash.

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