Late last night, the Iranian government released a statement admitting that they shot down Flight 752. As Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized in his press conference, there needs to be transparency, accountability and justice.
The Iranian Canadian Congress condemns the actions of the Iranian government in providing false information to the public during the past three days. Those who have committed this crime of shooting down a passenger airplane and those who have been responsible in releasing false information must be held accountable.
A transparent and thorough investigation of the tragedy must be completed, with full cooperation and oversight by international bodies and independent investigators to confirm what happened and identify those responsible.
The families of the victims of this horrible tragedy must be supported in any way deemed appropriate and desired by the families, including through restitution.
We also ask that the Canadian government works with allies to mediate conflicts in an effort to de-escalate tensions in the region to prevent further loss of life. Canada must stand for peace.
Find below a letter sent by ICC VP Pouyan Tabasinejad to Prime Minister Trudeau, Foreign Minister Champagne, and Immigration Minister Mendicino, as well as their Conservative and NDP counterparts Andrew Scheer, Erin O'Toole, Peter Kent, Jagmeet Singh, Jack Harris, and Jenny Kwan with regard to discrimination against Iranian-Canadians at the Canada-US border:
I am writing this letter to you on behalf of the Iranian Canadian Congress, a non-profit and non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to defending the interests of the Iranian Canadian community, a population estimated at 300,000 across the country.
Iranian-Canadian Congress has been hearing reports of Canadians of Iranian heritage are being detained and held for questioning at the Canada-USA border due to their ethnicity. Aside from facing undue delays, these individuals have been asked to answer questions about their political beliefs and their views on the recent crisis in the Middle East. This means that Canadians residents as well as citizens are being racially profiled at the US border.
In some cases, Iranian-Canadians have reported being held for over 30 hours without explanation and being asked racially charged questions. Some have reported being finger printed before being sent back to Canada and are worried about what the United States plans on doing with these finger prints.
There have been reports from Canadian outlets about the United States government collecting DNA samples from those who are detained at the border, which can be very dangerous for all Canadians who wish to enter the United States, whether it be for business or personal reasons.
We at the Iranian Canadian Congress are requesting that the Canadian government defend the rights of Canadians at the Canada-USA border and condemn the discriminatory actions of the United States government against Canadian citizens and residents.
Further, we request that an investigation be performed by the Federal government of Canada on the situation at the border, and if need be for the Canadian government to issue a travel advisory for Canadians entering the United States of America.
As Canadian citizens and residents, the Iranian-Canadian community expects the Canadian government defend the dignity and safety provided to us by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Trump Administration's assassination of Iran’s second most powerful man has been extremely concerning for many analysts and advocates for peace and security in the Middle East. As many analysts have noted, it is very possible that the tense situation in Iraq will be spread to Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and even Afghanistan where Iran is capable of responding.
Please find below the Iranian Canadian Congress's statement on the protests currently occurring in Iran:
Sanctions and economic mismanagement have put tremendous financial pressure on people and the sudden increase in fuel prices has further deepen the economic troubles for Iranian people. We urge the international community to lift these harmful sanctions.
The Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) has received multiple reports over the past few days about a smear campaign linked to Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) against Iranian-Canadian MP and Richmond Hill candidate Majid Jowhari.
MEK is an extremist Iranian opposition group that was listed in Canada as a terrorist entity as late as 2012. According to multiple reports the organization has dubious sources of funding and links to Saudi Arabia.
On social media, fake accounts associated with MEK have distributed false information about Mr. Jowhari. Seemingly, the only reason behind the targeting of Mr. Jowhari by the MEK is that, aligned with PM Trudeau's promise in 2015 to re-engage with Iran and reopen the embassies, Mr. Jowhari supported this promise as well and presented the views of his constituents to the Canadian government. Time and again we have also witnessed that the majority of Canadian-Iranians also support diplomacy and peace with Iran and are against policies of sanctions and war.
The ICC is extremely concerned about the MEK-linked smear campaign against a Canadian citizen running for public office. We are monitoring the situation carefully and will communicate our concerns with Canadian officials.
We once again encourage all members of the Iranian-Canadian community to participate in the federal elections on October 21st and vote for the party or candidates who represent their views.
The 2019 Federal Election is coming up and the ICC has launched the ICC Election Centre to answer all of your questions!
Wondering how to vote at advanced polls? Wondering how to check if you're registered? Wondering how to vote as a student?
Then check out the ICC's Election Centre here for these answers and more!
Earlier this year from mid-March to April Iran was hit by unprecedented rainfall and floods that impacted approximately 10 million people in all of the country’s 31 provinces.
In response, the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) immediately contacted the Canadian Red Cross and the Canadian Minister of International Development requesting assistance for the flood victims in Iran.
Shortly thereafter, the Canadian Red Cross launched a campaign to raise donations for the flood victims in Iran and provided a dedicated platform for the Iranian Canadian Congress to raise donations as well. Based on the final report from the Canadian Red Cross, $150,000 was raised for providing emergency assistance to flood victims in Iran.
Please click on this link for an important message from the Iranian Canadian Congress and the Independent Monitor
In the last month, there has been a new change in the ICC board of directors. Hooman Shirazi, who was elected onto the ICC board in 2017, announced his intention to resign from the board.
ICC President Ms. Soudeh Ghasemi, upon learning of Mr. Shirazi’s resignation and the difficulties this this empty seat posed to the organization and the reaching of quorum, received recommendations to fill the vacancy (those who ran in the previous election withdrew their candidacy and were not technically runners-up, as confirmed by legal counsel), as per Section 12 of the ICC bylaws:
For the vacancy of a director who is not also an officer, all vacancies shall initially be filled by appointing the runner-up in the immediately preceding election and if such runner-up is not willing or available to accept the appointment, by appointing the next willing and available individual among the unsuccessful candidates in the preceding election with the highest number of votes. Should no such candidate be available or willing to accept the appointment, then within 21 days of the vacancy the members of the board of directors, except the president, may submit names of candidates to fill the vacancy, provided each candidate meets the qualifications for serving on the board. The board president shall, within 30 days of the vacancy, and after consultation with the other officers, appoint one of the submitted candidates to fill the vacancy.
Ms. Ghasemi received the name of Amir Moazzami, a volunteer with the ICC, through a recommendation by the board. She accepted this recommendation and Amir Moozzami was appointed to fill Mr. Shirazi’s position on the board until the upcoming AGM.
We welcome Mr. Moazzami to the board and thank him for filling the position.