Canada Commends Bravery of Iranians
June 15, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement with regard to the Iranian presidential election of June 14, 2013:
“In the lead-up to the presidential election, the Iranian regime silenced all open, meaningful discussion of key issues that affect ordinary citizens and denied Iranians the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association.
“The Iranian regime also carefully managed the selection of presidential candidates by allowing only regime-friendly candidates to seek the presidency. Of the 686 candidates who tried to register as presidential candidates, only eight were permitted to run.
“With Iran’s opposition leaders in jail and their supporters having been denied the ability to coordinate since June 2009, none of the eight regime-approved candidates represents a real alternative for Iranian voters. The person tagged to replace Ahmadinejad will simply be another of Ayatollah Khamenei’s puppets in the tragic and dangerous pantomime that is life for all Iranians.
“Canada commends the courage of the Iranian people who expressed their aspiration to freedom in the face of the ruthless suppressions. Given the regime’s manipulation of the collective will and democratic process, the results of the June 14 vote are effectively meaningless.
“Canada continues to stand with Iranians who are working on the ground, pushing for meaningful reforms and respect for basic rights. Canada is proud to support projects that expand opportunities for Iranians to freely express their views, including the University of Toronto’s Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran and the Pulse of Iran (Nabz-e Iran) project.
"While we long ago lost faith in the regressive and hollow Iranian regime, we have not lost faith in the Iranian people.”