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Canadian Parliament Votes on IRGC Terrorist Case

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A report by Kei Esmaeilpour, MSM on the Canadian Parliament’s vote to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization:

On Thursday, May 8th, 2024, a significant event occurred in the history of Iranian Canadians in Canada.

 On this day, after several years of efforts by Iranian-Canadians to have the IRGC designated as a terrorist organization , a step forward was taken, and the Canadian Parliament approved the listing of the IRGC as such.

Representatives from all parties, including members of the government cabinet and the Prime Minister of Canada, voted in favor of this proposal. The proposal passed in Parliament with 327 positive votes and zero negative votes.

The proposal to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization was previously approved by the Canadian Parliament six years ago but was not implemented by the executive branch. During these six years, many Iranian Canadian citizens and their civil and political associations in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and other cities worked to persuade government representatives to reconsider their votes on this matter.

During this period, especially after the downing of the Ukrainian aircraft PS752, Iranian-Canadian citizens raised awareness by contacting their member in parliament, raising the issue in demonstrations, meetings, and media, and through their persistent efforts, this demand was brought to light.

The Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims and most Iranian Canadian political and civil associations, including the IJCollective Justice Organization, played a significant role in this.

In other words, this success was the result of continuous political activism that should be followed up until its implementation as law and executed by the government. It is noteworthy that in Canada, parliamentary approvals, after passing in the House of Commons and the Senate, are sent to the Governor General for royal assent and become law. In this case, the government is obliged to enforce it.

This activity served as a great lesson for Iranian Canadian political activists, emphasizing the need for continuous political engagement to achieve desired results.

Currently, two activities pursued by these activists in Canada include:

1. a request – to the committee which is investigating the interfering of the Russia and China   in Canadian elections – to examine the involvement of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Canada.

2. another activity under consideration is the investigation of over 710 cases of individuals suspected of infiltration into Canada as citizens and are believed to be affiliated with the Iranian regime. So far, three cases have been dealt with, and the suspects have been expelled from Canada.

The last point in this regard is the challenges in implementing this law, provided that the government can facilitate its implementation. One of the issues that the Liberal government previously mentioned as a reason for not implementing the parliament’s decision was the internal implementation problems in Canada, including the situation of Canadian immigrants who have served their military service in the IRGC, as well as the issue of severing any relations between the Canadian government and the Islamic Republic in case the IRGC is recognized as a terrorist organization. When I discussed this claim with the leader of the Conservative Party, the opposition party, Mr. Pierre Poilievre, he also confirmed that implementing this decision would not be easy. However, he stated, ”We are determined to implement this decision if elected by the people in the next year’s election.”

And the last issue is a people question: What can be done if the Canadian government does not implement this decision? If the government does not implement the decision, pressure can be exerted on it through three ways:

1- Utilizing the judicial system: Individuals and affected groups can protest against the government’s failure to enforce the law through the judicial system. This can lead to legal proceedings, trials, and court decisions that compel the government to enforce the law. This route is usually lengthy and time-consuming.

2- Public pressure: Public pressure and protests can persuade the government to act more quickly in implementing the law. These protests can take place through media, public gatherings, critical letters, and other forms of public expression.

3- And using various other legal tools that can lead to the implementation of this law by the government; you can consult with policymakers.

However, with the absolute vote of 327 out of 327 and the positive vote of all cabinet ministers in Parliament, the likelihood of the government providing measures for the implementation of the law is very high. And if this happens, it will mean that an agreement has been reached between European countries and Canada for all European countries to also list the IRGC as a terrorist organization, marking the end of the anti-human regime, and it is necessary for the opposition to introduce their alternative solution sooner to solve the power vacuum after the regime.

By: Kei Esmaeilpour, MSM

Iranian National Solidarity Council, International Relations Committee

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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