Here is a statement from the Board of Directors about ICC's parliamentary petition for Canada-Iran relations:
Nearly 16,000 people from across Canada have signed the formal parliamentary petition initiated by the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) urging the Government of Canada to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran, including re-opening embassies in both countries, as a matter of utmost importance.
On September 7th, 2012, the former Government of Canada (under Prime Minister Stephen Harper) broke diplomatic relations with Iran, closed its embassy in Tehran, and expelled all Iranian diplomats from Ottawa. After 4 years it is now evident that this policy of severing diplomatic relations with Iran has failed, not bringing any meaningful results in advancing the interests of Canada in the Middle East while constituting a considerable burden for the Iranian-Canadian community.
Over the past 4 years, Iranian-Canadians have suffered disproportionately as a result of this suspension of diplomacy. In 2012, Iranian-Canadians suddenly found themselves unable to access consular services and were faced with considerable difficulty when attempting to acquire visitor visas for their relatives still living in Iran. Most importantly, the absence of a Canadian diplomatic presence in Iran has left Canadians visiting Iran vulnerable and without access to consular services in times of need.
Diplomatic rapprochement at this point will not only assure that Canada stands in solidarity with its allies, many of whom have started re-engaging with Iran after the signing of the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but also will bolster Canada’s historical role of advancing peace and protecting the rights of its citizens through diplomacy and constructive engagement.
We’d like to thank MP Majid Jowhari for sponsoring the ICC’s parliamentary petition and we are grateful for his support of renewed relations between Canada and Iran. We also thank the thousands of Canadians who have signed the petition and helped us to spread the word and gather support for this cause. Special thanks to Salam Toronto Publications, Hamyaari in Vancouver and Atash for helping us in informing the community about this initiative.
With the unprecedented level of support we have seen for this cause, the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) will continue its advocacy for Canada-Iran relations and the reopening of the embassies with more vigor than ever.
Please make sure to follow our communication channels on social media and our website so that you can keep updated on developments and help in achieving this goal:
Board of Directors
Iranian Canadian Congress