Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support this motion and encourage my colleagues to do the same, especially after the excellent statement by my colleague and friend from Ontario on the importance of having every member of Parliament support this motion.
I will deliver my presentation in three parts. First, I will address the aspects of the motion. Second, I will explain why it is important to raise public awareness in Canada about what is happening in Iran. Third, I will give a concrete example that illustrates that what happens there has repercussions here.
The motion moved today seeks to strongly condemn the current regime in Iran for its ongoing sponsorship of terrorism around the world, including instigating violent attacks on the Gaza border. We recently saw to what extent Iran fuels tensions in several countries instead of easing them and avoiding violent clashes. Instead of looking for peaceful resolutions, Iran tries to create conflicts.
The motion also condemns recent statements made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for genocide against the Jewish people. Canada cannot tolerate that. Conflicts like this must be resolved peacefully and respectfully. We cannot sanction a country that calls for genocide, particularly against the Jewish people. God knows the Jews have seen their share of suffering throughout history.
The motion also calls for Iran to abandon its current plan and immediately cease its nuclear weapons development program. We are also asking our government to abandon its soft approach and its current plan and to immediately cease any and all negotiations or discussions with the Islamic Republic of Iran to restore diplomatic relations. Our government must demand that the Iranian regime immediately release all Canadians and Canadian permanent residents who are currently detained in Iran, including Maryam Mombeini. She is a Canadian citizen, and we want her back. It is important to state her name in both French and English and to demand that the government bring back the people who went over there. Maryam is the widow of Professor Kavous Sayed-Emami. Nor must we forget Saeed Malekpour, who has been imprisoned since 2008. It is now 2018.
Furthermore, the motion urges the government to immediately designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a listed terrorist entity under the Criminal Code of Canada, and to stand with the people of Iran and recognize that they, like all people, have a fundamental right to freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and other forms of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.
If we truly want to promote the fundamental rights that our country is built on, we also need to be vigilant and speak out when heads of state behave like tyrants. Iran is one such example. The Iranian government acts very harshly toward its people, and the Liberal must not look away from these situations. They must speak out. Right now, it seems like the Liberals want to downplay the relationship with Iran, but that would be tantamount to condoning the hateful statements in question, which are diametrically opposed to Canadian principles and rights.
Everyone on this side of the House, and probably every MP, recognizes that Iran's brutal regime is a threat to global peace and safety. As we have seen over the past few months, Ali Khamenei's oppressive regime has turned on its own citizens and continues to sponsor terrorism abroad. It is especially obsessed with destroying Israel, a democratic country in the Middle East, which is totally unacceptable.
This is why we must never hesitate to denounce the Iranian regime and take action against it, given its support for terrorism, its Holocaust denial, and its repeated threats toward Israel.
The government likes to say that it must be a strong voice for freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. This is great for Canada, but it would also be great for the people of Iran. At present, however, the Liberal government says nothing and will not lift a finger when the time comes to defend the rights and freedoms of Iranians. The problem here is that if Canada does not play this role and does not defend those values, they will be threatened right here at home. That is why we are concerned about this government's complacency regarding a brutal regime that has such contempt for its own people.
An activity funded by Iran, a hateful demonstration calling for the eradication of the Israeli people, no less, was held yesterday not in the streets in Tehran, but in Toronto. This happened right here at home, in our streets, on the grounds of the Ontario legislature, where a new government was just democratically elected. How can such incitements to violence be tolerated?
That is why every parliamentarian has the responsibility and moral obligation to condemn violence and hate speech. That is why it is important to support not just the motion itself, but also the spirit of the motion.
For example, the spiritual leader Shafiq Huda called for the eradication of the Israeli people, in clear violation of the Criminal Code. There are sanctions and a complaint was filed with the police. Unfortunately, we learned that one of the organizations that was part of this rally received funding from the current government under the Canada summer jobs program.
Members will recall that the government introduced an attestation to ensure that organizations that receive taxpayers' money respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Now, the leader of one such organization is promoting hate in the streets of Toronto.
The government needs to wake up; it has the opportunity to do so by supporting the motion before the House today.