Mr. Chair, I thank the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands who is at the forefront of promoting human rights in this chamber and elsewhere. It is an excellent question because there is always the temptation for people in public life to engage in words and not in actions.
It is critically important for us to encourage our friends in Canada who have an Iranian background, to ensure they know that in the same breath as we condemn the Ahmadinejad regime, we remember that Cyrus the Great, their famous ruler, brought freedom to the Jews and other people in that part of the world; that we remember that they had a prime minister freely elected in 1953; that there is a history of democracy in Iran and that Canadians know this; that we care about the Persian culture that has given so much in terms of literature and art and other legacies to the world; that we know, for instance, of the famous quote
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Omar Khayyám, Sa'di, Hafiz and other Persian poets have enriched the world. When Persian people know that we can be proud of what they have to give to Canada and the rest of the world, then they can be proud about their democratic future. I am confident that they have a democratic future and I cannot wait to see it.