A petition with roots in Kelowna is calling for the House of Commons to take action against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, has sponsored the petition.
Albas said that multiple people of Iranian heritage have called and emailed him, urging him to take action and do whatever he can to encourage the Canadian government to put pressure on a regime “that needs to be held accountable.”
Keyvan Khadem, a Persian who moved to Canada at age 11, is one of the authors of the petition. He worked with Albas to develop the petition and its demands before it was accepted by the House of Commons.
The petition calls for the IRCG to be listed as a terrorist entity. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force, a branch of the IRGC is already listed.
The petition also calls for the deportation of any individual connected with the Iranian Government or the IRGC, and for the seizure and redistribution of any Canadian assets belonging to people connected to the regime.
Albas said that the House of Commons foreign affairs committee has heard from witnesses that there are people associated with the IRGC currently living in Canada.
“People are very fearful because that particular government has made threats that they try to silence people, especially Iranians that are no longer within their borders. “
He said that the petition is one small effort to put pressure on the oppressive regime.
“There needs to be some accountability,” said Albas.
The Foreign affairs petition (e-4145) is open for signatures from the general public until Dec. 5.
Albas said that it is incredibly important that the document amasses 500 signatures, because at that point the government must formally respond in writing to the requests made.
Trudeau said the government has moved forward with unprecedented sanctions and made leaders of the Iranian regime inadmissible into Canada.
“We know there are people in Canada now who have benefited from the corrupt, from the horrific regime in Iran and who are hiding amongst … this beautiful community,” Trudeau said.
“Taking advantage of Canada’s freedoms, Canada’s opportunities, and using the riches they stole from the Iranian people to live a good life in Canada. Well, we say no more.”
With files from the Canadian Press.