1. Will the Canadian Government take Iran off Canada’s list of State Supporters of Terrorism in 2019?
C-CAT led the 8-year campaign for the passage of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (JVTA).1 The bill, passed in 2012, enables terror victims to sue state and local sponsors of terror, in Canadian courts. Under the JVTA, Iran and Syria were listed as “State Supporters of Terror” and can therefore be sued in Canada for their terrorist crimes.2
The law requires the Minister of Foreign Affairs to review the List of Foreign State Supporters of Terrorism every two years to determine “if there are still reasonable grounds for the foreign state set out on the list to remain set out on the list”.3 On July 1, 2017, the Canada Gazette reported that after completing the mandated review, Canada would continue listing Iran and Syria as “State Supporters of Terrorism”.4 The Minister is due to review the listing once again in 2019. But Tehran is insisting that Iran be removed from this list as a perquisite to reengagement with Canada5, and the Globe & Mail reported that the government provided Iran with a compromise on the JVTA.6
Does the Liberal government intend in any way, to tamper with JVTA or to delist Iran? Will the government compromise the JVTA and pull the rug out from under the feet of the terror victims seeking justice for the harm they have suffered? Has the government actually proposed assisting the Iranian regime in avoiding justice before Canadian courts, as reported by the Globe & Mail? The Canadian public and terror victims have a right to know if their government is actively assisting Iran undermine the clear intention of Parliament in passing the JVTA, to hold the Iranian regime accountable and to assist terror victims in the pursuit of justice.
2. Why has the Canadian Government not listed a single Iranian regime human rights violator under Canada’s Magnitsky statutes?
In its Departmental Plan 2018-197, Global Affairs Canada committed to “hold Iran to account for human rights violations and to implement a robust sanctions regime.”8 But despite Tehran’s global web of malevolent activities that include terror sponsorship, war crimes, and criminal networks engaging in narcotics trafficking and other illegal industries, not a single regime offender been subject to the Magnitsky sanctions. Why has the Liberal Government not listed a single Iranian regime human rights violator under Canada’s Magnitsky statutes? (C-CAT has compiled list of approximately 100 Iranian violators who would be candidates for listing under Magnitsky.)
3. Will the Canadian Government act to ban the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety, as a terrorist entity?
Iran is the globe’s most egregious state sponsor of terrorism and the IRGC is responsible for executing Iran’s terrorist exploits across the globe. The IRGC is also directly complicit in the slaughter of half a million Syrians by the Assad Regime; continues to assassinate Iranian dissidents abroad; oversees the brutal repression of the Iranian people; and is complicit in the imprisonment, torture and death of Canadian citizens. Canada listed the IRGC’s Quds-Force as a terrorist entity
in 2012. Then on June 11, 2018, parliament passed a motion introduced by MP Garnett Genuis, condemning the violations of the Iranian regime and stipulating that Canada “immediately designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a listed terrorist entity under the Criminal Code of Canada”.9 On June 14, 2018, Liberal MP Michael Levitt tweeted that: “Earlier today I sent the following letter to @RalphGoodale asking him to initiate the formal process for listing the #IRGC as a terrorist entity in Canada, further to the House motion on #Iran adopted on Tuesday. He has confirmed that the process has been initiated.”10
If the process “has been initiated” almost a year ago, when will the Canadian government announce the listing of the IRGC in its entirety as a terrorist organization? Just recently the U.S. listed the IRGC in its entirety, so Canada need not worry about setting a precedent. Why has the government not followed through on the motion it supported?
4. Will the Canadian Government act against Iran’s state sponsorship of antisemitism?
Iran has distinguished itself as a global leader in the state sponsorship of antisemitism; holocaust denial; and genocidal threats against the Jewish people. On June 11, 2018, parliament passed a motion introduced by MP Garnett Genuis, condemning the violations of the Iranian regime and its genocidal exhortations.11
Canada can take a stand. Last September, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri asked his colleagues at the UN for help in pursuing the perpetrators of two devastating attacks against Jewish targets in Argentina. The first was the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy which killed 29 people and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded. The evidence compiled by authorities points unwaveringly to Iran’s orchestration of the atrocity. As noted by Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman: “The decision to carry out the attack was made not by a small splinter group of extremist Islamic officials.” It was “extensively discussed and ultimately adopted by a consensus of the highest representatives of the Iranian government” at a meeting on August 14, 1993, which included three senior political figures and Iran’s current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. INTERPOL subsequently issued red notices, akin to international arrest warrants for five Iranian officials.
Noting that Argentina will mark the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing in July 2019, Macri declared that his country “will not waiver from its goal” of bringing those involved in these attacks to trial, and requested countries friendly to Argentina to assist by “avoiding hosting or sheltering under diplomatic immunity any of those accused which have international arrest requests and red notes from INTERPOL….” Canada can assist Macri, by listing the AMIA bombers under the Magnitsky statutes to mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing. Canada’s public listing of the AMIA killers would ensure that as a matter of Canadian law, the AMIA perpetrators are denied anonymity and impunity. Once listed, they would be unable to shelter themselves or their finances in Canada, which, according to parliamentary testimony in May 2018, has become something of a haven for the families and finances of Iranian regime insiders.12
In recent remarks before Parliament, PM Trudeau promised to do more to fight the upsurge of antisemitism and the violent targeting of the Jewish community. The PM can now publicly and formally close Canada’s gates to those like the AMIA killers who wantonly murder Jews as a matter of ideological principle. He can refuse physical and financial shelter to the proxies of an egregiously antisemitic Iranian regime that targets Jews only because they are Jews. He can assist the government of Argentina in pursuing the preparators of one of the largest state-sponsored antisemitic attacks in recent memory. But will he?
5 https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/irans-anger-over-ontario-court-ruling-threatens-liberal-attempts-to-mend-diplomatic-ties; http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2018/06/13/canada-iran-house-of-commons-motion/; https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/canada-comes-senses-iran/
6 https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-as-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-turns-40-lets-examine-our-rocky/: “By the end of 2017, Ottawa and Tehran were nearing, but had failed to finalize, a compromise working around the JVTA by having both countries open an interests section in the other’s capital. This would have allowed each to establish an office hosted in a third country’s embassy, thereby putting their assets under the jurisdiction of a protective power and shielding them from the JVTA.”