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Canadian Parliament Conference Advocates for IRGC Terrorist Designation and Iranian Resistance

On Monday, May 27, 2024, a press conference took place at the Canadian Parliament, organized by Judy Sgro, Chair of the International Trade Committee and former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The event highlighted the significance of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s death and the pressing need to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

Speakers included Judy Sgro, Struan Stevenson (Coordinator of the Campaign for Change in Iran and former Member of the European Parliament), and Shahram Golestaneh, representing the Iranian Canadian community and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Judy Sgro emphasized the importance of Canada labeling the IRGC as a terrorist organization, stating, “Labeling them as a terrorist organization, full stop, 100%, needs to happen.” She pointed out the substantial economic impact this designation would have on the IRGC, which controls significant financial resources in Iran. “The economic reality of what’s going to happen to the IRGC in Iran will be a huge hit economically,” Sgro explained.

Sgro also called for moral support from Western countries, asserting that the Iranian people do not seek military intervention but rather support against the oppressive regime. “The people of Iran are not asking for military intervention from the West. They don’t want another Iraq. They are saying, ‘We will take it in our hands, but please give us moral support.'”

Sgro linked the actions of the IRGC to recent conflicts in the Middle East. “The terrible loss of lives in Israel and Gaza is a direct result of Iran and the IRGC’s actions,” she said. Sgro stressed the importance of amplifying the voices of Iranian women who “have rebelled against compulsory religion, compulsory government, and the compulsory hijab.”

She concluded by urging the Canadian government to act on the unanimously passed motion to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, stating, “In Canada, it will send a strong signal to the rest of the world.” Reflecting on past events, she recalled the killing of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi by the Iranian regime in 2003 and how Canada’s actions led other countries to follow suit.

Struan Stevenson spoke about the deteriorating state of the Iranian regime, exemplified by the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, often referred to as the “Butcher of Tehran.” He described Raisi’s demise in a “decrepit, dilapidated helicopter,” suggesting that such treatment of their own leader indicates a regime at the brink of collapse. “If that is the way they treat their own President, then surely this is a regime that has reached the end of its tether,” Stevenson remarked.

Detailing Raisi’s brutal history, Stevenson recalled the mass executions of 1988, where Raisi sentenced thousands to death for supporting the People’s Mojahideen of Iran (PMOI/MEK). “Raisi had the blood on his hands of all of these people, and for that reason, he became the favored candidate to become the President of Iran,” he stated. Stevenson noted that under Raisi’s presidency, executions surged by 48% in one year, with 864 people executed to instill fear in the population.

Stevenson asserted that the Iranian people, emboldened by Raisi’s death, are poised for a new wave of uprisings and called on Western nations to support their quest for democracy. “The people of Iran have lost their fear,” he said. “We have to turn our attention to supporting the people of Iran, the 85 million Iranians. They have the absolute right to overthrow this tyrannical regime.”

He praised the Ten-Point Plan of NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi, which outlines a vision for a democratic Iran, free of nuclear threats and human rights abuses. Stevenson expressed his endorsement of this plan, calling it a manifesto for a future democratic Iran.

Stevenson also recounted the regime’s attempts to silence critics, including assassination plots against Western politicians and activists. He referenced the targeting of his colleague, Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, by Tehran and the closure of the Iranian embassy in Albania due to a bomb plot against MEK members. “The IRGC are the sponsors of international terror,” Stevenson emphasized.

In conclusion, Stevenson urged the Canadian government to blacklist the IRGC, stressing the profound impact this would have globally. “With America having blacklisted them, followed now by Canada if you can persuade your government to do so, I think it would be almost impossible for the EU and the UK not to follow suit,” he argued. Stevenson called for international support for the Iranian people’s struggle to restore democracy, justice, and women’s rights, underscoring the leadership of women in the ongoing resistance.

Shahram Golestaneh stressed the urgency of action in his address. “The need for action is now, more important than ever,” he declared, referencing a recent open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity. He emphasized the symbolic importance of Raisi’s death for the Iranian and Iranian-Canadian communities, indicating a hopeful shift toward change.

“All I’m trying to convey to the Canadian government is that the time to act is now,” he asserted. Golestaneh underscored that a world without the IRGC and the Iranian regime would be significantly safer and better for both Iranians and the global community.

He concluded by reiterating the calls for the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization, the expulsion of Iranian regime agents from Canada, and support for the Iranian people’s aspirations for a secular, non-nuclear republic grounded in human rights.

Following the speeches, Canadian MPs and staffers from various lawmakers and ministers participated in a Q&A session with the panel. They discussed a range of topics, including the succession of the regime’s Supreme Leader, the implications of Raisi’s death, the ongoing conflict in Gaza, and policy recommendations for Ottawa.

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Canadian Parliament Conference Advocates for IRGC Terrorist Designation and Iranian Resistance