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Iran wants consulates in cities like Vancouver- Shimon Fogel says there's legit concern consulates to be used to monitor Iranian activists

By Rhonda Spivak, posted December 16, 2011

Thank you to a reader for sending me an article published recently in Embassy magazine in  Ottawa.

Iran wants Canada to let it open consulates across the country, something that a Canadian policy currently blocks.

Apparently, some Iranian diaspora members say they would welcome this move, as it's inconvenient to now have all their consular services routed through Iran's single four-floor Ottawa mission.

But there are also clear risks, such as potential security problems and the possible monitoring of Canadian pro-democracy activists.

Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, in an email said to Embassy Magazine, "My understanding is that there are fewer than 100,000 ex-pat Iranians in Canada—which includes individuals of Iranian descent."

He went on to say said he doesn't see a need for an expanded Iranian presence in Canada, and there is a legitimate concern about new consulates serving as platforms for monitoring activities of Iranian activists.

I agree with Fogel, but the question is what the government of Canada will do? After enacting more sanctions agaisnt Iran in ligt of

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.