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Iran Accountability Week 2018

Honorable Senators,

This week has been designated Iran Accountability Week by the Liberal Government. I’m glad that when it comes to the Islamic Republic of Iran – the most malign regime in the world – the Liberals are asking for accountability.

I share this hunger for accountability from both the Iranian Regime and from our own government which continues to pursue a re-engagement plan with the world’s most abhorrent regime.

A regime which only yesterday was exposed as lying extravagantly when it claimed it had never pursued a nuclear arms development program. 

In truth, the Iranian regime has kept hidden a massive atomic weapons archive even after the JCPOA came into effect.

Denouncing this violation of the JCPOA must be part of the Canadian parliament’s and this government’s Iran Accountability Week.

So too should other items, which so far, this government has failed to act on including:

  • Denouncing the judicial murder of Canadian citizen Kavous Seyed-Emami
  • Expressing support for pro-democracy protesters who have been incarcerated and killed by the dozens since New Year’s day 2018
  • Denouncing the violent attacks on Iranian women who violate Iran’s compulsory Hijab laws
  • Applying Canada’s Magnitsky Sanctions Act against the murderers of Canadian citizen Zahra Kezami

Here in the Senate there are actions we can take too.  Most notably it’s time to finally pass legislation which would prevent the Canadian government from lifting sanctions against Iran unless there is a significant improvement in human rights and which extends sanctions to all subsidiaries of EIKO and the IRGC.

Today I am honoured to speak in the presence of Reza Bana, the leader of Justice 88, an organization which pursues justice for the 30,000 political dissidents murdered in Iran in 1988 and Avideh Motman-far, the President of the Council of Iranian Canadians, which seeks to bridge Canadian values with Iranian heritage.

We need a government that listens to these voices of democratic opposition, who advocate for the improvement to human rights as a condition of normalizing diplomatic relations with Iran.

In closing, I continue to pray for the release of Saeed Malekpour, Ayatollah Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, and all Iranian prisoners of conscience.  You are not forgotten.

Thank you.


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