- United States
Canadian immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be screening all Iranian immigrants for any possible ties with the current Iranian regime, past or present as per media reports. Last week, the government announced to shut down the Iranian Embassy amid concerns regarding national security. Local Iranian Canadian community stands divided in response to these initiatives by the Canadian government.
The immigration minister said that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is working on taking serious measures against any possible threats to the country’s national security. Kenney said that the department was minutely scrutinizing all possible details of every Iranian immigrant in order to be certain that no one with any links to the current Iranian regime or any other so called Iranian extremist groups is let in the country.
“We want to ensure,” the immigration minister stated, “that people who may be inadmissible, that is to say those who may be associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard … the Basij or senior member of the regime are not admissible to Canada under Section 34 through 36 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”
Kenney also said that his department was receiving many appeals from the Persian community in Canada to take serious measures to check if people with such connections were being provided the permanent residency status in Canada. Kenney further termed the operations of the former Iranian embassy in Canada as illicit, accusing it of trying to manipulate and intimidate the Canadian society.
Kenney also elaborated the need for adopting a straight forward approach and shutting down there embassy in Iran, and the Iranian counterpart in Canada. The immigration minister further described the need for such measures to be of vital importance saying that if these steps would not have been taken, lives of many Canadian diplomats in Iran would have been endangered. He said that after the American and the British diplomats left Tehran, the Canadian embassy was going through its most vulnerable phase. The UK government had shut down its embassy in Tehran last year after a group of protestors stormed in the building and started creating havoc. The minister said that it was obvious who was next in line for such destruction and violation of international laws.
On the other hand, the Iranian Canadian community in Canada has shown mixed reactions to the situation. Most of them are criticizing the move as extreme and uncalled for, whereas others are praising it saying that it should have been done a long time ago.
In Iran, political officials are strongly criticizing the initiative and assuring of a timely and adequate response to it. Iranian Foreign ministry spokesperson, Ramin Mehmanparast, said that the act was highly extreme and hasty and Canada should expect a response of similar nature.
The friction between the two countries had begun when an Iranian Canadian journalist had been arrested and killed in an Iranian jail. The relatives and supporters of the deceased journalist carried out protests in Canada and Iran and asked for severe actions against the current Iranian regime. The present course of events can be held as a consequence to these occurrences.
Tags: Canadian Immigration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Iranian Canadian, Iranian embassy in Canada, Iranian immigrants