On the anniversary of Canada’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) has submitted a formal electronic petition to the House of Commons asking the Government of Canada to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran and facilitate the reopening of the embassies in Tehran and Ottawa.
On September 7th, 2012, the Government of Canada (under Prime Minister Stephen Harper) ceased all 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 to sever all diplomatic relations with Iran has failed, not bringing any meaningful results in advancing the interests of Canada in the Middle East.
Over the past 4 years, Iranian-Canadians (a population estimated at 300,000) have suffered disproportionately as a result of this suspension of diplomacy. Iranian-Canadians suddenly found themselves unable to access consular services (such as power of attorney, passport renewal, and the acquiring of birth and death certificates), 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. Canada’s absence in Iran has limited its ability to communicate with Iranian authorities and advocate for the release of Canadian citizen Prof. Homa Hoodfar and Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour, members of the Iranian Canadian community who are in prison in Iran.
On the anniversary of Canada’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran the ICC President, Bijan Ahmadi, has submitted a formal electronic petition to the House of Commons on behalf the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) with the unanimous approval of the Board of Directors asking the Government of Canada to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran and facilitate the reopening of the embassies in Tehran and Ottawa. The ICC has worked on the preparation of this formal request with MP Majid Jowhari (Richmond Hill) and the petition is formally sponsored by him.
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 last year, but also will bolster Canada’s historical role of advancing peace through diplomacy and constructive engagement. We encourage all Canadians as well as members of the Iranian Canadian community who support peace and diplomacy to sign this petition and share it with their networks.
Board of Directors
Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC)