Iran Human RightsMayor of Montreal secret visit to Iran draws criticism

Mayor of Montreal secret visit to Iran draws criticism


The Mayor of Montreal is revealed to have secretly visited Iran to meet the Mayor of Tehran.

This trip was not revealed via the website of Montreal Mayor, Denis Coderre, which details his trips to Iraq and South America, but via the Iranian Press.
Canadian-Iranians are reported to be furious that Coderre has met with a member of a regime that Canada designates a state sponsor of terrorism.

Shabnam Assadollahi, an Ottawa writer, and human rights activist who was imprisoned in Iran as a teenager, said: “The Iranian regime is a terrorist regime. Why would the mayor of Montreal make quiet deals with a terrorist regime?”

A report by the regime-affiliated Tasnim News Agency revealed that Coderre signed an agreement with Tehran in his role as president of Metropolis, an association of global cities. It contained a photo of the two smiling mayors sitting under a portrait of the supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

Tehran Mayor Baqer Qalibaf was quoted in the report as saying that he hoped this would lead to stronger cooperation between Iran and Montreal. However, Canada’s diplomatic ties with Iran remain severed; Canada closed its embassy in 2012.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said that official talks had begun in June, and met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations in New York, in October.

Payam Akhavan, a law professor at McGill University and founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, said that Coderre’s visit is propaganda value to a regime trying to gloss over its abuses.

He said that Qalibaf is seen as a pragmatist rather than a hardliner, but that is a “relative concept”.

Akhavan said: “The only politicians who survive are ones who are deemed to be ideologically safe, and who have compromised with the right people and the right interests. So having contact with them is nothing to celebrate.”

Qalibaf has formerly called Israel “a cancerous tumour in the region” and bragged about crushing student protests in 1999 and 2003.

Coderre’s office said he will not be able to comment on his Iran trip until he returns next week.

Amir Khadir, a Québec Solidaire member of the National Assembly who was born in Iran, said he texted Coderre when he learned the mayor was in Tehran, to ask him to raise the case of a recently imprisoned human-rights defender, but it was too late.

Iraj Rezaei, president of the Council of Iranian Refugees and Immigrants in Toronto, said Coderre cannot possibly think that a regime which executes minors, imprisons critics and bars women from attending soccer matches can be reasoned with.

He said: “The Iranian government has been there 33 years, and nothing has changed.”

Latest news

New Blow to Iran’s Government, Iraq Seeks To Remove It From Its Energy Market

Iraq is facing many problems due to the continuation of international sanctions against the Iranian government and is seeking...

Daily Protests in Iran Are Developing Into a ‘Dangerous Situation’ for the Iranian Regime

Due to the Iranian regime’s mismanagement of the economy, their rampant corruption, and their brutal oppression of society, protests...

Huge but Hidden Corruption

The chairman of Iran’s Privatization Organization Hossein Ghorbanzadeh previously said that about 525,000 properties have been registered in the...

Iran Government’s Quagmire in the Nuclear Negotiations

After the first round of Iran’s nuclear negotiations with world powers, known as the JCPOA, Ali Bagheri, the Iranian...

Iranian Teachers Continue To Protest Their Rights Due to the Regime’s Inaction To Resolve Their Demands

On December 2, Iranian teachers in nearly 50 cities across Iran held demonstrations to protest the Iranian regime’s lack...

Frustration of Iran’s Middle Class

These days, the middle class of Iran still maintains its cultural conditions, but economically it has collapsed into the...

Must read

Hezbollah unmasked

New York Times: Hezbollah is helping to prop up...

Iran’s elite force is said to use Hezbollah as ‘proxy’ in Iraq

Washington Post: An American general said on Monday that...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you