Reza Moridi is the Minister of Research, Innovation, and Science in Ontario—and more people might end up knowing his name after yesterday. VICE brings us a report of Mr. Moridi’s recent speech at the North York Civic Centre, delivered to hundreds attending an event, overlooking the official in front of a banner reading “In Solidarity With The People of Iran.”
Hoots and hollers from the crowd encircled his introductory statements, creating an unpredictably intense ambiance. The minister established the purpose of the event after thanking the organizers and his parliamentary colleagues, stating that all were gathered, “…to show our solidarity with 80 million people in Iran. As you know…they are risen…against the dictatorship in our homeland, in our country of birth, Iran. The dictatorship regime in Iran started in 1979, at the moment this regime took the office. In that very moment, they started execution, they started rape, and afterwards, of course, war and instability around the world. People of Iran don’t like this regime.” The thunderous applause continued, in advance of some statements made in Farsi calling for President Rouhani’s death, later shared on YouTube and on Reza Moridi’s facebook.
Pouyan Tabasinejad is a policy chair at the Iranian Canadian Congress and, full disclosure, he has previously contributed to The Iranian. In communication with Vice, Mr. Tabasinejad opined that the minister owes the Canadian public an apology for calling for the death of an individual.
Former federal NDP candidate in Willowdale Mehdi Mollahasani, in communication with The Iranian, expanded further on Moridi’s comments, calling them, “…damaging to our reputation as Iranian-Canadians, and we should all be outraged and demand that he [Moridi] apologies.”
“The line in the sand was drawn when Stephen Harper’s government formally listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Mollahasani continues. “This has made it more difficult for the current government to negotiate with Iran without removing them from the list. Moridi’s actions, while insignificant to the diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran, are degrading to the Minister’s office and the government of Ontario, hurtful to our community, and are against Canadian values.”
Stephen Harper was the former Prime Minister of Canada and part of the nation’s Conservative Party, which was defeated in a general election by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in 2015.
Following the original establishment of the JCPOA agreement, Canada has re-initiated terms of diplomacy with the nation of Iran, although the present American disposition and diplomatic policy trend may bear potential damage to this renewed mediation. The contemporary discussion in Canada has frequently surrounded the ongoing protests, which have resulted in at least 21 casualties as of last week, per Al Jazeera.
The recording of Moridi’s speech has racked up almost 13,000 views on Facebook so far.
Correction (8:34 PM PST): In a previous edit of this article, Pouyan Tabasinejad was misquoted as stating that “Canada owes the country of Iran an apology.” This was an error, AS Mr. Tabasinejad stated to VICE that Mr. Moridi owes an apology to the Canadian public specifically—and not the country of Iran—for outright calling for the death of an individual.
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