Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Eglinton—Lawrence.
I want to thank everyone who has given me the opportunity to talk about Iran, because this is an issue that is very important to all Canadians, but in particular to those in the Iranian Canadian community in my riding, who have been the greatest victims of the regime that is currently in place in Iran.
They have suffered from political oppression. The Baha'i community, whose religion is not recognized as a religion in the Iranian constitution, has suffered endless streams of discrimination. The Jewish community, the Christian community, and religious minorities in Iran have all suffered, and those who have come here understand what they went through and what their friends and families in Iran are still going through as a result of this regime.
This motion in no way imputes any fault to the Iranian people or to the Iranian Canadian community. It solely singles out the totalitarian, authoritarian, repressive regime currently in place in the Islamic republic of Iran.
Why is it so important to talk about Iran? There are other regimes out there that are theocracies. There other regimes out there, unfortunately, that violate fundamental human rights. There are other regimes out there that discriminate against women. There are other regimes out there that single out our ally Israel. However, what is unique about the Iranian regime is they export their horrible record abroad.
They encourage Yemen to also discriminate against the Baha'i community. They support terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas to wreak havoc on the Middle East, including what recently occurred in Gaza. While Hamas is no doubt responsible for the violence that occurred and the unfortunate death of Palestinians in Gaza, Iran, behind the scenes, financed Hamas and gave it weapons to fire rockets and projectiles on peaceful civilians in Israel.
It is Iran, behind the scenes, that has helped the murderous Assad regime in Syria kill thousands of their own citizens with poison gas and has caused the dislocation of millions.
Iran has chosen to export its terror abroad. Iran has chosen to single out one country for condemnation, the most democratic country in the Middle East, one that respects the rights of people of all religions in the country, and one that has an independent judiciary that is prized around the world: Israel.
We have all been talking about world leaders who like to tweet. One of the world leaders who likes to tweet is the supreme religious leader of Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei. While his remarks are odious, I think it is important to put on the record of this Parliament what this gentleman has put on his Twitter account this year.
“Israel Is A Hideous Entity In the Middle East Which Will Undoubtedly Be Annihilated.”
“Our stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. #Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.” That was on June 3.
“Woe to the heads of those dependent and traitorous countries, who refrain from the great duty of fighting against #Israel and defending #Palestine only to win U.S’s attention and a few more days of power.” This was on June 2, 2018.
“Friendship with the unbelievers brings misery to Muslims, like the friendship some Muslim states have with the Zionist regime, exchanging kind words and establishing economic or political relations.” This was on April 26, 2018.
He went out of his way to say, “God’s curse be upon the arrogant powers, their agents, as well as the vicious Zionist regime and the U.S. for destroying Muslims”. This was on January 30, 2018.
He has also called Israel “barbaric”, “infanticidal”, and “sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region”.
I can only say that this man's tweets bring shame upon his country, and it is unfortunate that we, in this world today, have to deal with a world leader who is so intent on destroying one small country in the region, the homeland of the Jewish people.
However, we should not be surprised, because after all, this gentleman is also a Holocaust denier. With respect to the six million Jews and the many other millions of gay people, Jehovah's witnesses, and others who perished in the Nazi Holocaust, this gentleman is not sure it really happened.
That is why in 2016 for the second time Iran held a Holocaust cartoon competition and invited anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers from across the world to exhibit their wares in Tehran with a grand prize. Yom HaShoah is the day that is sacred to tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors living in Canada today, who found refuge on our shores from the vicious murderous entity that they had escaped in Europe. This gentleman, Ayatollah Khamenei, on Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2016 published a video in which he said, “No one in European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is reality or not. Even if it is reality, it is not clear how it happened.” The video featured images of Holocaust deniers Roger Garaudy, David Irving, and Robert Faurisson. That is shocking.
It is a regime that today still denies the Holocaust. It imputes to those who survived the Holocaust and came to Israel the idea that they should then be obliterated from the face of the earth. I am proud to stand as part of a government that supports Israel, a government that will defend Israel and recognize that Israel not only has a right to exist, but has a right to defend itself against rockets that stream across its borders.
Israel faced the situation in Gaza. I cannot imagine any country in the world that would have acted in a different way, had terrorists encouraged and incited people to stream against its borders firing projectiles and announcing to them that the border had been breached, to go forward, and putting women, children, and infants in front of the line. That is a disgrace.
I also want to talk about my predecessor as the member of Parliament for Mount Royal, the hon. Irwin Cotler. He was someone with a principled foreign policy, and someone who believed in non-partisanship, and someone who reached across the aisle and created an Iran accountability week that the Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs still runs that includes members of all parties. I have been honoured to sit in on a couple of those committee hearings where we have heard from victims of the Iranian regime, when we have heard from the Baha’i community here in Canada about the horrendous treatment of Baha’is in Iran, when we have heard that Iran executes more people per capita than any other country, including minors.
All parties in the House have joined together to hold Iran to account and Canada has led on that issue by bringing forward and sponsoring resolutions at the United Nations to condemn the human rights violations of the Iranian regime.
I am very pleased to have the chance to stand in the House today and support a resolution that condemns Iran. We should all condemn Iran for its human rights violations at home, for its importation of human rights violations abroad, for its support of terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East, for its support of the butchering Assad regime in Syria, for its denial of the Holocaust, for its threat of genocide against the Jewish people, for its attempts to eradicate Israel from the face of the earth, and for its desire to become a nuclear power and proliferate nuclear arms across the Middle East. That deserves to be denounced and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to do so today.