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Open Letter to Prime Minister on Iran

July 04, 2009

Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

We are writing to appeal to you and the Canadian government for prompt action against the totalitarian regime in Tehran for its continued and brutal suppression of the Iranian people's cry for basic human rights and the rule of law.

As you are aware, the Iranian people spoke out loudly and clearly when they protested against massive election fraud in the millions in the streets of Tehran, other communities in Iran and elsewhere in the world, including one of 90,000 persons near Paris. In the words of a young woman who emailed friends outside Iran, "...this is the most authentic, grassroots and beautiful movement from the people, by the people and for the people."

The ayatollahs responded with the full weight of their machinery of oppression by arresting hundreds and killing many unarmed demonstrators, while accusing the protesters of being "enemies of the Islamic Republic" working under the direction of Western interests.

The truth is that, other than verbal condemnation, the international community has thus far failed to offer substantive assistance to the people of Iran, who aspire to the basic human dignity prescribed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In fact, over several decades, many governments have sought to appease the ayatollahs in part by failing openly to support Iranian opposition to their regime.

As Canadian citizens, including those of us of Iranian origin, we believe our government should show leadership by firmly siding with the people of Iran. We propose that Canada:

  • Publish a national stamp in memory of ‘Neda,’ who was killed by a regime sniper, as a symbol of support for the Iranian people's peaceful resistance against tyranny;
  • Urge a new presidential election;
  • Challenge the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad at the global governance level if no new election is held;
  • Adopt the European Union’s position in reducing political and diplomatic relations with Ahmadinejad's regime;
  • Impose trade sanctions except for urgent medical requirements;
  • Urge the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court to initiate charges against Ahmadinejad and Khamenei for crimes against humanity in accordance with Article 5 of the Rome Statute;
  • De-list immediately the PMOI by following the example of 27 EU countries and recognize the group as a legitimate opposition to the Tehran regime.

Mr. Prime Minister, we urge you to take these much needed actions in support of the struggling Iranian people. We only truly stand on guard for Canada when we defend cornerstones, such as the rule of law and human dignity as reflected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the same rights and freedoms the Iranian are seeking.

Respectfully submitted,

(Approximately 235 signatures on original letter sent to Prime Minister)

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