Hon. Linda Frum: Leader, yesterday you stated that the Government of Canada is not engaging in any discussions regarding diplomatic re-engagement with the Iranian regime until Maryam Mombeini is allowed to return to her home in Canada. That is admirable, as far as it goes, but for nearly 10 years, Canadian permanent resident Saeed Malekpour has been held captive on trumped-up charges in Iran’s Evin prison . Will your government extend the same assurances to the family of Saeed Malekpour and cease all diplomatic talks until his release is secured?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you, honourable senator, for your question. What I was wanting to assure all senators is that the talks that are being held with the government of Iran are with respect to the Canadians that are detained, to assure their release. That is the priority of the government at this moment with respect to its bilateral engagement with the government of Iran.