Kin of these killed when Iran’s army shot down Flight PS752 in January 2020 say Canada has develop into a protected haven for regime officers.
“Canada has develop into a protected haven for the criminals of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Hamed Esmaeilion testified Thursday afternoon to the Home justice committee.
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, transferring freely in Canada.
“It is a large concern for Iranian folks,” he stated.
Amid a brutal crackdown on ladies’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.
That has coincided with the 1,000-day anniversary of the downing of Flight PS752 close to Tehran, which killed 176 folks, most of whom had been headed by way of Ukraine to Canada.
Nobody has been held accountable.
Esmaeilion chalked that as much as a naive forms that sees Iran as a standard nation.
“It is primarily the authorized groups or the advisers; they nonetheless imagine in negotiation with Iran as a result of they do not see Iran, or the Iranian regime, as a Mafia group,” he stated.
“In the event you change your mindset, that you just’re not negotiating with Switzerland or a democratic nation, then it will clear up the issue.”
He stated he is informed officers that Canadians would by no means play a hockey sport with North Korea, and but Canada’s nationwide males’s soccer crew was scheduled to play with Iran again in June, earlier than Canada Soccer cancelled amid political pushback.
Esmaeilion stated he is sure folks affiliated with Tehran have been chargeable for slashing his tires and making cellphone calls he discovered threatening.
The RCMP has beforehand stated it’s “conscious of reviews referring to victims experiencing threats, harassment and intimidation.”
And whereas the Liberals have stated they up to date their sanctions record Monday based mostly on influence from Esmaeilion’s group, he stated there have been many extra officers that family instructed months in the past.
“I am shocked that I do not see (Supreme Chief) Ali Khamenei on the record,” he stated, including that President Ebrahim Raisi and former international minister Mohammad Javad Zarif needs to be listed.
He additionally referred to as out Iran’s delegate for the Montreal-based Worldwide Civil Aviation Group, saying Farhad Parvaresh needs to be kicked out of Canada.
This week, a crowd of Iranian Canadians took to Parliament Hill, demanding Ottawa deem the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.
Consultants have stated that such a change can be arduous to implement, provided that Iran has conscripted hundreds of thousands into the power’s non-combat roles. A terror itemizing compels Ottawa to freeze property held inside Canada and deny entry into the nation.
Esmaeilion stated that may be a critical concern, and there could also be as many as 15,000 folks already dwelling in Canada in that scenario. However he stated their army paperwork clearly state whether or not they had a senior rank and if that they had joined the IRGC by selection.
“We will exempt these folks. We have now talked to a number of attorneys, and this can be a easy resolution for placing the IRGC on the record.”
He additionally reiterated calls to carry accountable these answerable for 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.
“Up to now, after 1,000 days, we have now no street map; we have now no time-frame,” he stated.
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.
“The method is painful, it is lengthy, it is cumbersome, it is sophisticated,” he stated.
“These worldwide our bodies are flawed, they’re imperfect, however they’re our greatest method to maintain Iran accountable.”
Alghabra stated Canada has been serving to lead reforms that goal to forestall 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 army operation in response to the U.S. assassination of senior Iranian army official Qasem Soleimani.
“PS752 shouldn’t have been flying when there was a battle close by,” Alghabra stated.
– With recordsdata from Caitlin Yardley in Montreal.
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 7, 2022.