Friday, April 16, 2010

Naming Names: Tehran's Operation In Toronto And Its "Anti-War" Friends.

Michael Petrou reports on an organization in Toronto that describes itself as a non-partisan centre for Iranian culture and scholarship, but is in fact funded by the Iranian embassy in Ottawa. Founded by a well-connected Iranian diplomat, The Center for Iranian Studies, located at 290 Sheppard Ave. W., was incorporated in January 2008. One of its three directors at the time was Fazel Larijani, who was then Iran’s cultural attaché in Ottawa. He is the brother of Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, and Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, head of the judiciary.

It is now time to begin to name names, dates, and places, writes Samira Mohyeddin, whose torments readers will remember from this column. "These students, a lot of them bursary students, were in many of my classes and were adamant supporters of the Islamic Republic. It was often noted by other students that these students from Iran would spy on those of us who would vocalise our opposition to the Iranian regime. I myself have been threatened on numerous occasions, particularly while writing for the University of Toronto newspaper, The Varsity."

Here's some names to keep in mind: The Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War (TCSW) and the Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) jointly sponsored a conference in Toronto that concerned itself with "US imperialism and the increasingly bellicose threats against Islamic Iran." Key speakers: Mohamed Elmasry, Zafar Bangash, Fazel Larijani, Imam Mohammed al-Asi, Sid Lacombe (Canadian Peace Alliance), James Clark (Toronto Coalition to Stop the War) and Barbara Abu Zahra (International Women's Peace Service).

See also "Hundreds Against Imperialism in Richmond Hill Conference": Sid Lacombe, James Clark, Fazel Larijani, Imam Muhammad al-Asi, Mohamed Elmasry, Barbara Abu-Zahar, and Ali Mallah, currently a member of the executive board of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Petrou followed up: Of the four individuals the Center promotes, three – Richard Foltz, Soheil Parsa, and now Mahdi Tourage – have confirmed that they have nothing to do with it. "It's a safe bet that the fourth doesn’t either."

(Oh dear: Suddenly the Center's website is down for maintenance. What a coincidence!)

Writes Mahdi Tourage: "I have no idea who these guys are and have never heard of them before. I am certainly pissed that they have used my name and academic affiliation to somehow give the impression that I am in some way affiliated with them or support their work. In any event, I am going to send them a letter asking them to remove my name… Furthermore I am absolutely against the Iranian fascist dictatorship regime and support any efforts to expose its atrocities. Feel free to quote me on this. . ."

Background: How Tehran's Intimidation Reaches Into Canada.

Remember this?


Blogger scott neil said...

keep up the good work Terry. btw, i'm sure you're not bothered, but there are some right plums making fools of themselves underneath the piece from the Tyee where you background the start of the 'Heroes' series they are running. i would join in on your behalf myself, but i know from long experience it can all get rather circular very quickly. still a tad annoying, mind...

5:10 AM  
Blogger scott neil said...

ach, damn. i did comment. stupid people annoy me.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

Here's a link James Clark and Ali Mallah atending Zafar Bangash's Iranian Revolution Celebrations

5:33 AM  

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