June 21 -2013
Dear Mr. Trudeau,
As members of Canada’s
Iranian-Canadian community, we are writing to express our profound sense
of dismay at the appearance of Reza Pahlavi at Queen’s Park on June 3,
Mr. Pahlavi is the son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,
the notorious Shah of Iran who was deposed by a popular revolution in
February 1979. The Shah was widely opposed throughout Iranian society
because of his autocratic rule, his violation of human rights, and his
theft of national resources. In fact he fitted very well in the group
of the totalitarians same as Mubarak and Gaddafi. Many of us who now
call Canada home were prosecuted by the Shah’s repressive regime.
is for these reasons that we were shocked to see Mr. Reza Moridi, a
Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario, introduce Mr.
Pahlavi to the Ontario Legislature as Iran’s Crown Prince while praising
his dedication to freedom and human rights in Iran
(http://goo.gl/fjqFF). While we appreciate Mr. Moridi’s efforts for
the wellbeing of the Richmond Hill Community, we believe his decision to
recognize Mr. Pahlavi in this way demonstrates a grave lack of
judgment, which minimizes the suffering of tens of thousands of Iranians
under the Shah’s rule.
In addition, we are concerned
that the Liberal Party of Canada has yet to comment on recent elections
in Iran or to distinguish itself from the Conservative Party’s position,
which fails to recognize how, even in a flawed system, ordinary
Iranians continue to find a way to register opposition to their
Sadly, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s
arrogant dismissal of the election as “meaningless” reveals a total
disconnect with reform and opposition movements inside Iran. Though he
later, half -heartedly changed his position, under the pressure from the
community, we still regard his first voluntary reaction as being the
original statement of the Harper’s government.
community has a long and proud history in this country, which includes a
genuine commitment to civic engagement and participation, and to the
expansion of human rights in Canada, Iran and around the world. We trust
that the Liberal Party of Canada shares these goals, and we hope that
your relationship with our community will respect our
collective aspirations, and not merely the ambition or opportunism of a select few individuals.
We look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Iranian Canadian Community Council
Toronto Iranians Community Group
Afghan Iranian Youth Network
Centre for Thought, Dialogue and Human Rights in Iran
Canadian-Iranian Coalition for Peace
CC Mr. Reza Moridi