Upcoming ICC AGM 2024 and Invitations to Nominations

The ICC board of directors is pleased to announce that the next ICC annual general meeting (AGM) will be held on July 6 from 1 PM ET (10 AM PT). The meeting will be held on a videoconferencing platform.   

An online election will also be held for the 2 available seats in the ICC board of directors. We encourage all interested members to consult with Section 2 of Article 5 of the ICC by-laws for nomination eligibility, and if eligible, declare their nomination by sending an email to [email protected]. The deadline for sending nomination emails is June 17, 2024, at 11:59 pm ET. The email must include and attach the following:  

  • A confirmation by the nominee that he or she has nominated himself or herself, or that he or she has been nominated by others and has accepted such nomination, for election to the ICC board of directors;  
  • A confirmation by the nominee that he/she meets the eligibility criteria, as set out in Section 2 of Article 5 of the ICC by-laws;  
  • A government-issued ID; and  
  • A synopsis of the nominee’s background/biographical sketch and the reasons they wish to serve as a director on the ICC board of directors (maximum 300 words in English. Farsi is optional. This information is to be provided in MS Word or pdf file format). A passport size photo of the nominee in digital format is also optional. Information and the photograph provided by the nominees will be posted on the ICC website.  

Please note that only ICC members who have joined/renewed their membership by June 25, 2024, at 11:59 pm ET will be entitled to attend the upcoming AGM and vote in the election. For any membership questions, you may contact [email protected] 

  • In the upcoming election, members will choose two new board members. The election will be held online, starting and ending prior to the AGM. Members will receive a link through email to participate in the election after June 25th. Election results will be announced in the AGM.  
  • The proposed charter of ICC and modifications to article 15 of the by-laws will also be presented to the members to vote on the same ballot.  
  • The ICC board of directors has selected an election committee, consisting of three ICC members, to oversee the election process. These individuals are Mr. Moslem Noori, Mr. Habib Ghaffari, and Mr. Ahmad Ehsandar. 

Further details such as instructions for attending the AGM, the link for online voting, and the AGM videoconferencing will be shared with the members in future communications. 


Modification to bylaws proposed to AGM 2024

The ICC Charter and modification to Article 15 of the bylaws, approved by Board of Directors, proposed to AGM 2024 to be voted by members:

ICC Charter

Article 15


Statement in Support of Student Encampments for Palestine

Statement in Support of Student Encampments for Palestine

As of late April, student encampments have sparked up in universities across Canada as part of the global movement in support of Palestine, heeding the call for divestment and echoing a longstanding tradition of student peace activism.  

This brave statement by Canadian students and academics, which has overwhelming support from the broader community, is a positive step towards reaching a just and sustainable peace in Palestine and West Asia. ICC is in full support of this global and grassroots movement and urges academic institutions to support these students in their calls for divestment, which is beneficial to the preservation of the dignity and interests of Iranian Canadians.  

The American Civil Liberties Union, says: 

Freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition — this set of guarantees, protected by the First Amendment, comprises what we refer to as freedom of expression. The U.S. Supreme Court has written that this freedom is “the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom”. Without it, other fundamental rights, like the right to vote, would wither and die. 

Freedom of speech should be guaranteed for all citizens—limiting it in universities, which exist for the purpose of creating and discovering knowledge, is especially unreasonable. The broad movement of student encampments is a protest against the continued investment of Canadian academic institutions in the Israeli state—despite the latter’s violation of international laws and Geneva Conventions. Challenging narratives, asking difficult questions, making people uncomfortable—that's the price of living in a democracy. These are not threatening behaviors, as confirmed by the judge who ruled against the injunction against the McGill encampment.  

As Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges put: 

It exposes the abject failure by the ruling elites and their institutions to halt genocide, the crime of crimes. These students watch, like most of us, Israel’s live-streamed slaughter of the Palestinian people. But unlike most of us, they act. Their voices and protests are a potent counterpoint to the moral bankruptcy that surrounds them. 

Violation of international law while ignoring ICJ recommendations and UN Security Council resolutions enables and perpetuates the cycle of violence in the region. We once again urge universities to follow the lead of their academics and students, protect their right to free speech and free assembly, and pay attention to their voice, which calls for peace and freedom for all. 


Statement on suppression of freedom of speech

It is deeply troubling in the time of the genocidal killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians, to witness the suppression of freedom of speech of students and academics, and the threats against political dissidents around the world. 

ICC is heartbroken to see various forms of state violence and takes a stance to condemn any form of intimidation, violence, imprisonment, or criminal prosecution that violates an individual's right to freedom of speech; such as the sentencing of Iranian rapper, Toomaj Salehi, to death; a sentence which we hope will never be executed.  

The ICC strongly believes in the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, ICC advocates for a grassroots-led approach in the fight against violations of human rights instead of foreign interventions in domestic politics in any country.  

ICC emphasizes that any form of sanctions against the Iranian people violates their human rights to pursue a healthy and prosperous life, and therefore we oppose the adoption of any such policies by the Canadian government.  


Closing submission Stage 1 Hearings of Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions

Closing submission by Iranian Canadian Congress

Stage 1 Hearings of Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions

 

 


Statement on Recent Escalation of Tensions in West Asia

Statement on Recent Escalation of Tensions in West Asia

Last week’s Israeli forces missile strikes targeting the Iranian Consulate, which also damaged the Canadian Embassy in Syria raised major concern within the Iranian Canadian community. Such breaches of united nations resolutions and violations of international law, which should have been condemned, led to Iran's retaliatory strike against Israeli military installations on April 13th.  

We implore the Canadian government to champion the enforcement of UN Resolutions regarding Palestine and actively promote peace, equity, and stability in the region. 


Comments Regarding Public Hearing Remarks by Mr. Hamed Esmaeilion

The following letter has been sent to the Commission Counsel of the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions:

 

We are writing to express our concerns about certain comments made by Mr. Hamed Esmaeilion during the Public Hearing on March 27, 2024. 

We wish to clarify that our organization holds immense respect for Mr. Esmaeilion’s advocacy for the families affected by the Ukrainian Flight PS752 tragedy, as well as his pursuit of justice and accountability. Since the tragic incident in which the civilian airliner was shot down by the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), our organization has consistently expressed solidarity with the victims' families. We have also advocated for the federal government to ensure full accountability for the Canadian citizens and all innocent lives lost, in accordance with international law and civil aviation conventions. However, we find the following remarks concerning. 

Mr. Esmaeilion stated: 

“A very small minority of Iranians in Canada are engaged directly or indirectly as either sympathizers or sometimes even overt operatives of the Islamic regime. It’s a small minority, however, leverages financial advantages that mostly originate from inside Iran and political backing advantages that -- political backing from the Islamic regime to create institutions disguised as community advocacy groups, media, social media, or even research institutes, but effectively seek to undermine the majority of the community that opposes the regime, as well as to meddle with the influence Canadians or influence Canadian government and non-government institutions in favour of the regime’s agenda.” 

This claim broadly categorizes diverse organizations and individuals within the Iranian Canadian community as having illicit ties to the Islamic regime, without providing concrete evidence. It is critical to question such allegations, especially when considering Canada’s legal and security frameworks that would address any such 'overt operatives'. 

Further, Mr. Esmaeilion commented: 

“Just recently, a member of the Iranian community in Canada sought to run for as a member of the federal Parliament. The intensity of the smear campaign against him went far beyond the normal fervor of political competition in Canada. We believe that this is indicative of a much  more sophisticated and multi-layered attempt by the regime and its operatives to hinder the participation of Iranians opposed to the regime in the Canadian democratic institutions.” 

In this instance, Mr. Esmaeilion seems to refer to a recent Conservative Party nomination race in Richmond Hill, for which he has not provided any evidence of foreign interference yet. According to publicly available information and reports, the campaign against the mentioned member of the Iranian Canadian community appears to have been a domestic initiative by Canadians, including those of Iranian heritage, rather than a result of foreign meddling. Notably, a Progressive Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario emerged as the most vocal opponent of the individual who was referred to by Mr. Esmaeilion. It is essential to recognize that Canadians of all ethnic backgrounds have the right to freely participate in civic activities, supporting or opposing political candidates as they see fit.  

In a democratic society such as Canada, members of political parties should not be intimidated by potential retaliatory accusations of foreign interference by their opponents. We hope that the commission will require Mr. Esmaeilion to provide evidence and will thoroughly investigate the merit of the claim of foreign interference in the internal procedures of the Conservative Party of Canada, through all available channels. 

In addition, Mr. Esmaeilion stated: 

“We have organizations here that they don’t have any relations with the civic organizations in the community, with the cultural organizations in the community like Tirgan civic association, civic organizations like us or even political members of the community like our Parliament member, Mr. Ali Ehsassi, but they are everywhere, and they get funded by -- unfortunately, by our governments.” 

This statement suggests a biased view that legitimate Canadian entities are only those affiliated with certain cultural groups or political figures. By not mentioning other Iranian Canadian members of parliament or the many cultural organizations of the Iranian Canadian community, it fails to recognize the diversity within the Iranian Canadian community and undermines the legitimacy of various organizations that operate independently of the mentioned affiliations. Furthermore, the commission may take note that the Canadian government’s funding of organizations that “don’t have any relations with the civic organizations in the community”, does not, per se, indicate foreign interference. 

We trust that the commission will exercise utmost caution in evaluating these claims and will mandate that all witnesses substantiate their statements with evidence and factual data. 

Our apprehension stems from the potential for such claims to perpetuate long-standing internal divisions and conflicts within various diaspora and ethnic communities, including the Iranian Canadian community. Historically, certain factions within the Iranian Canadian community have engaged in discrediting individuals of Iranian origin based on their political beliefs and opinions, often leveling unfounded accusations of association with the Islamic Republic. This has particularly affected young Iranian Canadian activists including second-generation Iranian Canadians and civil society organizations with progressive and left-leaning stances on foreign policy, subjecting them to baseless defamation and smear campaigns, typically without any evidence.  

The primary source of discord in our community stems from differing views on Canada’s foreign policy toward Iran. Iranian Canadian activists who oppose military action or sanctions, citing their detrimental impact on the Iranian populace and regional peace and stability, are frequently discredited by hardline political factions. These factions prioritize regime change in Tehran over all else, disregarding both Canada’s interests and the potential harm that increased instability may inflict on the people of Iran and the broader region. We are concerned about the potential misuse of the commission’s public hearings by some parties, by framing and exclusion, to limit the diversity of expressed opinion by Iranian Canadians. 

We oppose those assertions, by Mr. Esmaeilion, that conflate foreign influence with the legitimate and varied perspectives of Canadians of Iranian descent. We unequivocally support his appeal for the federal government to actively pursue and investigate corrupt Iranian officials who seek refuge in Canada, along with their illicit financial activities. Our organization has been at the forefront, leading the Iranian Canadian community in advocating against the laundering of corruption proceeds within our borders. This advocacy underscores our commitment to uphold justice and integrity, not just within the Iranian Canadian community, but also in safeguarding Canada’s financial system against such abuses. 

In closing, we express our deep concern regarding the potential misapplication of the Commission’s esteemed platform to propagate personal biases and unsubstantiated claims. Such actions could detract from the Commission’s fundamental objective of conducting a fair and fact-based inquiry. We place our trust in the Commission’s commitment to thorough, objective, and unbiased examination of all testimonies and evidence. It is our hope that the Commission will handle these sensitive matters with the high level of diligence and impartiality they demand, ensuring that the inquiry remains a credible and respected instrument of justice and truth-seeking. 


ICC Granted Standing at Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes

We are pleased to inform you that the ICC has been granted standing at the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes in Canada. This is a crucial opportunity for us to actively participate in ensuring the transparency and fairness of our electoral system.

As an organization dedicated to advocating for the rights and interests of Iranian Canadians, this is a pivotal moment for us to contribute to safeguarding the democratic process in our country. However, we cannot do this alone.

In order to effectively represent our community's concerns and interests at the inquiry, we need your support. We are reaching out to our members, donors, and supporters to ask for your assistance in this matter.

Here's how you can help:

  1. Financial Contributions: Your donations will enable us to cover legal expenses, research costs, and other necessary expenditures related to our participation in the inquiry. No amount is too small, and every contribution makes a difference.

  2. Spread the Word: Please share this news with your networks and encourage others to support our efforts. The more people we have standing with us, the stronger our voice will be.

  3. Volunteer: If you have expertise or skills that could be valuable to our efforts, we welcome your volunteer assistance. Whether it's legal expertise, research skills, or outreach support, your contribution can have a meaningful impact.

  4. Stay Informed and Engaged: Keep up to date with developments related to the inquiry and participate in relevant advocacy efforts. Your engagement is vital in ensuring that our community's concerns are heard and addressed.

We are committed to representing the interests of Iranian Canadians and advocating for a fair and transparent electoral process. With your support, we can make a meaningful impact at this critical juncture.

If you would like to contribute or get involved, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] .

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to the Iranian Canadian community.


Statement regarding the recent escalation of conflict in the Red Sea

Iranian Canadian Congress expresses disappointment in Canada’s decision to participate in the US-led military operation in the Red Sea. Given the exceptionally heightened tensions, these military interventions pose a significant risk of escalating West Asia into a full-scale war, which would be catastrophic for all parties involved, particularly the civilian population throughout the region.  

For over three months, Canadians have been fervently urging their elected representatives to advocate for an immediate and lasting ceasefire to bring an end to the ongoing genocide in Gaza. It is imperative for the Canadian government to demand a ceasefire alongside South Africa in the International Court of Justice against the genocide in Gaza and call for the immediate removal of the blockade affecting the fundamental livelihood of the Gaza population, including access to clean water, food and medication.   

We urge Canada to assume a constructive role in the region, fostering implementation of UN Resolutions, peace, justice and stability rather than contributing to war and destruction. Canadians seek a sustainable ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, fearing the potential expansion of the conflict into neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Iran.  

Participating in military actions that jeopardize Canadian lives and perpetuate the loss of innocent men, women, and children in West Asia offers no benefit to Canadians and is instead a stain on Canada’s global reputation. It is crucial for Canada to prioritize diplomatic solutions and actively work towards a peaceful resolution in the region.  

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The federal government's position on the Kerman terrorist attack

The federal government's position on the Kerman terrorist attack:
“Canada unequivocally condemns the attack in Kerman, Iran. We send our condolences to the families of victims and wish a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured. We welcome full investigations to determine responsibility for this act of terrorism and hold the perpetrators to account. Today, and every day, Canada stands with the people of Iran.”
پاسخ دولت کانادا به کنگره ایرانیان کانادا درباره موضع دولت در قبال حمله تروریستی داعش در کرمان:
کانادا به صراحت حمله در کرمان ایران را محکوم می کند. ما به خانواده های قربانیان تسلیت می گوییم و برای مجروحان شفای عاجل و کامل آرزو می کنیم. ما از تحقیقات کامل برای تعیین مسئولیت این اقدام تروریستی و بازخواست عاملان آن استقبال می کنیم. امروز و هر روز کانادا در کنار مردم ایران ایستاده است.

About Us

The Iranian Canadian Congress is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious organization established in 2007 to represent the interests of Iranian-Canadians and encourage their participation in Canadian society.

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Email: [email protected]a

Phone: 647-539-4344

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