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Frum's Motion Against Iran is Expected to Pass. A Report on Pro-Sanctions Lobby

Updated: Jun 8, 2019

Senator Linda Frum's motion against Iran will be put for a vote at the Senate of Canada tomorrow, Tuesday Dec 11, 2018. In this motion she once again singles out Iran while staying silent on atrocities committed by other actors in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia. The motion is part of the worldwide efforts of the pro-sanctions lobby to put pressure on Iran and to isolate the country diplomatically.

The text of the motion is very similar to the motion proposed by the Conservatives and later adopted by the House of Commons back in June 2018. Therefore it's expected for this motion to pass in the Senate as well. Motions are not binding and it will be up to the federal government whether or not they decide to to adhere to the demands mentioned in the adopted motions by the House or the Senate.

On Sunday December 9, 2018 to further lobby for her anti-Iran motion an Iranian organization the "International Centre for Human Rights" led by Ardeshir Zarezadeh organized an event for Linda Frum. Another person present at this event was Shaparak Shajarizadeh who was arrested for her protest against compulsory hijab in Iran.

Senator Linda Frum (left) with Shaparak Shajarizadeh (right) at the event organized by the International Centre For Human Rights on Dec 9, 2018 - a day before Linda Frum tables her motion against Iran at the Senate of Canada.

Recently Shajarizadeh also attended another event in Montreal that she was invited to by Irwin Cotler. Irwin Cotler was a member of parliament from Quebec and served as Canada's Justice Minister from 2003 to 2006.

Cotler has advocated extensively for sanctions against Iran. Irwin Cotler is a member of the advisory board of the D.C. lobby group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). UANI was one of the leading organizations that lobbied against the nuclear deal with Iran and once the agreement was reached between P5+1 and Iran, UANI launched a pressure campaign to discourage companies that were considering to enter the Iranian market. Since Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement UANI has lobbied for Trump's policy against Iran both in the U.S. political circles and in Canada and Europe as well.

Shajarizadeh in the middle was invited to an event in Concordia University by Irwin Cotler (on the left).

Both Irwin Cotler and Linda Frum have friendly relations with the People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI or also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalq or MEK) and their affiliate organizations including the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran and Iran Democratic Association. They both frequently participate in events organized by the MEK and their affiliates.

Irwin Cotler and Linda Frum at an event organized by the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran, a group that supports Mujahedin-e-Khalq in Canada. The purpose of the event was to lobby for Iran sanctions bill S219. The bill was defeated at the Senate later in May 2018.

In 2014 Cotler invited the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi to testify at the Canadian Parliament. According to several reports Irwin Cotler was also one of the main individuals who advocated for the de-listing of the MEK as a terrorist group. The United States in 1997, the European Union in 2002, and Canada in 2005 designated MEK a terrorist organization. MEK was designated in Canada as a terrorist organization as recently as 2012.

Irwin Cotler in an event with MEK leader Maryam Rajavi in 2013.

Senator Linda Frum has a reputation of lobbying for sanctions against Iran and push for isolation of the country. She supported and encouraged Harper's decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran and was extensively lobbying for Bill S219 (the Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act) which would make any resumption of relations between Canada and Iran impossible. The bill was eventually defeated in the Senate back in May 2018.

In October 2017 Linda Frum caused outrage in the Iranian community when she referred to Iranians as a "malign nation" in her speech at the Senate. Thousands of Iranian-Canadians and several Liberal and NDP MPs condemned her comments and asked her to apologize. However, she said that she doesn't regret her comments and won't apologize.

Another individual who has extensively lobbied for Senator Frum's motion against Iran is Salman Sima. In several tweets he posted last week Sima called on his followers to contact their Senators and ask them to vote in favor of Linda Frum's anti Iran motion. Previously we have reported on Salman Sima's activities and his hypocrisy about his sisters high level positions and affiliations with the Iranian government while he closely works with the pro-sanctions lobby and the newly formed opposition group Farashgard (or Iran Revival).

At the IC Journal our goal is to raise awareness about political activities that affect the lives of Iranians in general and Iranian-Canadians in particular. We welcome any comments or response from individuals we mention in our reports. In our reporting we rely on publicly available information and do our best to reference information from credible sources. Each report includes references we have used. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at info@icjournal.ca

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