Canada’s international human rights parliamentary subcommittee has criticized the government’s “passive” approach towards the Iranian IRGC and their widespread human rights abuses.
The meeting of the House of Commons subcommittee was held on Tuesday and attended by several political and human rights activists – including the spokesman of the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims, Hamed Esmaeilion.
Kasra Aarabi, a senior analyst in the Extremism Policy Unit at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, who specializes in Iran and Shiite Islamist Extremism, said that currently, Revolutionary Guard officers have key administerial roles in the government of President Ebrahim Raisi, which seeks to consolidate the Islamic Republic’s grip across the Middle East. “Raisi is mandated to purify the regime,” he said, adding that the IRGC is the force behind this change.
He mentioned Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi – an IRGC general wanted by Interpol for his suspected role in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Argentina that killed 85 people and injured over 300 – and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian – for his alleged affiliation with IRGC’s Quds Force – as examples of such appointments.
“Domestically, the IRGC is preparing to unleash a new wave of Islamization on the Iranian people to eradicate Western and Persian aspects of the Iranian society,” he said, noting that the majority of Iranians want a secular government, manifested on the streets with protests “growing in size and scale.”
“The 1999 unrest took place in three cities and seven people were killed. In 2009, protests were in 10 cities and around 100 people were killed. Iran’s protests in November 2019, however, saw protests in over 100 towns and cities, and as many as 1,500 civilians were killed in just a few days,” he added. “Canada can and should support the Iranian people,” he concluded.
Another member of the House, Arnold Viersen, also criticized the government for not designating the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization and not taking any specific action to hold it accountable for its crimes, including the intentional downing of the Ukraine Airlines Flight PS752.