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Canada a safe haven for Iranian regime, families of plane crash victims say – National

Kinfolk of these killed when Iran’s navy shot down Flight PS752 in January 2020 say Canada has turn out to be a secure haven for regime officers.

“Canada has turn out to be a secure haven for the criminals of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Hamed Esmaeilion testified Thursday afternoon to the Home justice committee.

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Esmaeilion leads a gaggle representing grieving households, lots of whom are conscious of quite a few individuals who have labored for the regime, or are associated to senior officers, shifting freely in Canada.

“It is a huge concern for Iranian individuals,” he stated.

Amid a brutal crackdown on girls’s and human rights protesters throughout Iran, the federal Liberals are dealing with mounting strain to deem a piece of Iran’s military as a terrorist group.

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That has coincided with the 1,000-day anniversary of the downing of Flight PS752 close to Tehran, which killed 176 individuals, most of whom have been headed by way of Ukraine to Canada.

Nobody has been held accountable.


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Esmaeilion chalked that as much as a naive paperwork that sees Iran as a traditional nation.

“It’s primarily the authorized groups or the advisers; they nonetheless consider in negotiation with Iran as a result of they don’t see Iran, or the Iranian regime, as a Mafia group,” he stated.

“In case you change your mindset, that you just’re not negotiating with Switzerland or a democratic nation, then it might resolve the issue.”

He stated he’s advised officers that Canadians would by no means play a hockey sport with North Korea, and but Canada’s nationwide males’s soccer group was scheduled to play with Iran again in June, earlier than Canada Soccer cancelled amid political pushback.

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Esmaeilion stated he’s sure individuals affiliated with Tehran have been accountable for slashing his tires and making telephone calls he discovered threatening.

The RCMP has beforehand stated it’s “conscious of stories referring to victims experiencing threats, harassment and intimidation.”

And whereas the Liberals have stated they up to date their sanctions checklist Monday primarily based on impression from Esmaeilion’s group, he stated there have been many extra officers that family members prompt months in the past.

“I’m shocked that I don’t see (Supreme Chief) Ali Khamenei on the checklist,” he stated, including that President Ebrahim Raisi and former international minister Mohammad Javad Zarif must be listed.


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He additionally known as out Iran’s delegate for the Montreal-based Worldwide Civil Aviation Group, saying Farhad Parvaresh must be kicked out of Canada.

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This week, a crowd of Iranian Canadians took to Parliament Hill, demanding Ottawa deem the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

Specialists have stated that such a change can be exhausting to implement, provided that Iran has conscripted tens of millions into the drive’s non-combat roles. A terror itemizing compels Ottawa to freeze property held inside Canada and deny entry into the nation.

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Esmaeilion stated that could be a critical concern, and there could also be as many as 15,000 individuals already dwelling in Canada in that state of affairs. However he stated their navy paperwork clearly state whether or not they had a senior rank and if they’d joined the IRGC by selection.

“We will exempt these individuals. We have now talked to a number of attorneys, and it is a easy resolution for placing the IRGC on the checklist.”

He additionally reiterated calls to carry accountable these in control of the downing of the flight that killed his spouse and daughter. Esmaeilion’s group desires Canada to refer the case to the ICAO and the Worldwide Prison Courtroom.

“To date, after 1,000 days, we now have no highway map; we now have no time-frame,” he stated.


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In a Wednesday interview, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra stated Canada desires to see justice for the victims of Flight PS752, however should exhaust all avenues with Iran earlier than any worldwide tribunal will tackle the case.

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“The method is painful, it’s lengthy, it’s cumbersome, it’s difficult,” he stated.

“These worldwide our bodies are flawed, they’re imperfect, however they’re our greatest strategy to maintain Iran accountable.”

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Alghabra stated Canada has been serving to lead reforms that goal to stop one other disaster, such because the Safer Skies initiative. The concept is to have a world physique assess when battle makes it unsafe for civilian flights, and advise firms and states to not take off.

The flight Iran shot down took off hours right into a navy operation in response to the U.S. assassination of senior Iranian navy official Qasem Soleimani.

“PS752 mustn’t have been flying when there was a battle close by,” Alghabra stated.

– With information from Caitlin Yardley in Montreal.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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