Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Sayeh Hassan
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Jusitn Trudeau
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Sayeh Hassan: Justin Trudeau's Policy of Engagement with Iran--Wrong Way to Go

by Sayeh Hassan, April 29, 2013

Justin Trudeau Believes in “Engagement” with the Islamic Regime in Iran-What are the Implications?


In a recent interview with AlJazeera Justin Trudeau’s advisor Omar Alghabra stated: “ On the issue of Iran, Trudeau has clearly stated that he is for engagement.”


What are the implications of Mr. Trudeau’s belief that Islamic Regime should be “engaged”?


This statement is a direct threat to the pro-democracy movement in Iran which fights to overthrow the Islamic Regime in Iran (IRI). The IRI has no legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of the Iranian people. There are no free elections in Iran and the regime has managed to stay in power through the use of systematic force including torture, rape and execution of its opponents. By engaging the IRI and accepting it as the legitimate Iranian Government Mr. Trudeau would give this regime a much needed credibility and legitimacy boost, while isolating the Iranian people both in Iran and Canada.


By “engaging” the IRI Mr. Trudeau would be rolling back the clock to the time of Jean Chretien where “engagement” was the official government policy. It was during this time of “engagement” that the Iranian Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured and murdered in the notorious Evin Prison in Iran, and it was also during this time when the activities of the Islamic Regime Embassy in Ottawa started to blossom.


Canada has a large Iranian Canadian community many of whom have been forced to flee from Iran to save their own lives or the lives of individuals that they love. Canada has become a safe haven and a home for many Iranian Canadians like myself, who believe in the Canadian values of freedom and democracy. I feel safe and protected and able to voice my concerns about the Regime in Iran without fearing repercussions, in the way that I would if I was living in Iran.


What would happen once Mr. Trudeau starts “engaging” the IRI? Would he want to re-open the IRI Embassy or as many of us Iranian Canadians call it “The House of Terror?” Would he allow IRI government officials and their affiliates to travel free to Canada and roll over the red carpet? Would he allow the IRI to continue to intimidate the Iranian Canadian community while trying to infiltrate various Canadian entities? How safe would Canada be under those conditions?


How many of us would want to live in a Canada that sides with a brutal dictatorship while disregarding the rights of millions of Iranians?


Perhaps Mr. Trudeau would be wise to engage the “pro-democracy” movement in Iran instead of the dictatorship. He can either stand with the Iranian people or with the Islamic Regime, but he cannot do both. Let’s hope he chooses the side that adhere to the Canadian values rather than a dictatorship that is a global threat to us all.



Sayeh Hassan is a criminal defence lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist

<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • RBC
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Equitable Solutions Consulting
  • Taylor McCaffrey
  • Shuster Family
  • Winter's Collision
  • Obby Khan
  • Orthodox Union
  • Lipkin Family
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Booke + Partners
  • Karyn & Mel Lazareck
  • The Bob Silver Family
  • Leonard and Susan Asper Foundation
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Coughlin Insurance Brokers
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Gislason Targownik Peters
  • Jacqueline Simkin
  • Commercial Pool
  • Dr. Brent Schachter and Sora Ludwig
  • Shinewald Family
  • Lanny Silver
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Sobeys Grant Park
  • West Kildonan Auto Service
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Preventative Health First
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • PFK Lawyers
  • Myers LLP
  • MLT Aikins
  • Elaine and Ian Goldstine
  • Wolson Roitenberg Robinson Wolson & Minuk
  • MLT Aikins
  • Rudy Fidel
  • Pitblado
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Kathleen Cook
  • John Orlikow
  • Ted Falk
  • Chisick Family
  • Danny and Cara Stoller and family
  • Lazar Family
  • James Bezan
  • Evan Duncan
  • Ross Eadie
  • Cindy Lamoureux
  • Roseman Corp
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Shindico
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Red River Coop
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Superlite
  • Tradesman Mechanical
  • Chochy's
  • Astroid Management Limited
  • Dr. Marshall Stitz
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Nick's Inn
  • Grant Kurian Trucking
  • Seer Logging
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Josef Ryan
  • Fair Service
  • Broadway Law Group
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
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.