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Iran


In August of 2015, after the P5+1 agreement was reached on the Iranian Nuclear Deal, B'nai Brith Canada formally published its policy white paper outlining the organization's positions on Iran and the P5+1 agreement, along with recommendations for the Government of Canada. Below is a summary of the policy white paper. To read the full document click Here.


In 1979 the Ayatollah Khomeini violently seized power in a bloody revolution, quickly establishing himself as the ultimate power in Iran and governing the new authoritarian regime with an iron fist. Khomeini instituted a radical version of Sharia law and began to persecute religious minorities, women, political dissidents, journalists and anyone who did not conform to a very narrow set of acceptable lifestyles approved by his government.

ayatollah.jpgIn the years since, Iran has continued to be the world’s premiere state sponsor of terror, supporting organizations like Hezbollah. High-ranking religious figures and government officials consistently call for the destruction of Israel, violence against the Jewish people and hold regular holocaust denial events. 

With the recent signing of the P5+1 nuclear deal, Iran has gained a measure of legitimacy to its antisemitic and hateful rhetoric, allowing it to be seen as a legitimate player on the world stage, and putting Israel and the Jewish people at greater risk.

The Iran nuclear agreement, formally called the ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’, between Iran on one side and the five permanent members of the Security Council, Germany and European Union on the other, signed July 14, 2015, falls substantially short of being a ‘good deal’. The agreement provides Iran with a financial windfall, via the lifting of sanctions, estimated at $150 billion. Given Iran’s history, this money will almost certainly be used, at least in part, to fund terrorism. The countries that have the most to lose from nuclear weapons development by Iran (Saudi Arabia and Israel) are both against this deal. They rarely agree on anything, so their opposition should tell us something.

An important component missing from the current Iran deal is any commitment to human rights. This deal misses a critical opportunity to hold Iran accountable for human rights abuses. The agreement itself, while not specifically aimed at human rights, could have provided the perfect opportunity to hold the notoriously violent and volatile regime accountable. The fact that this was not included when drafting an agreement is simply incomprehensible.

Finally, having no deal with Iran would be better than the deal as it exists currently, even though it would mean that Iran could continue trying to obtain nuclear weapons. The current agreement allows 24 day notice for all inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is simply unacceptable. The deal fails to address the context of Iran as a terrorist state, one who has consistently lied, and one who has been working on a nuclear weapons program since 1979. The temporary nature of such a deal will not be a deterrent to a regime that has waited more than 30 years already to realize its nuclear ambitions.

In light of this new deal, it is even more important that Canada speak out against Khomeini-ist elements here at home.  The annual Al Qud’s Day rally is a prime example of this type of hate-speech, and B’nai Brith has been actively campaigning to ensure that Khomeini-ist propaganda no longer be seen as sanctioned by any Canadian government or agency.

Recommendations

  1. Continue to support the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor Iran’s compliance with its commitments in accordance with the recent nuclear deal;ay
  2. Canada must not resume diplomatic relations with Iran until it demonstrates that it no longer supports terror, and that they have made a real commitment to ending persecution for minorities, women and political dissidents;
  3. Parliament must issue a statement strongly condemning Khomeini-ist propaganda, and all rhetoric which supports his legacy;
  4. Canada is not a party to the agreement reached in the 'Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action' and is not bound by the agreement, therefore Canada should be acting in its own best interest. Canada should not lift sanctions against Iran until they have  demonstrated a real and sustainable commitment to peace and human rights.
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