Monday, May 23, 2005

Majlis committee calls for ban on Canadians visiting Iran

Tehran Times:
In a statement on Sunday the Majlis Foreign Relations Committee condemned the Canadian foreign minister for his recent offensive remarks against the Islamic Republic.

The committee urged the Foreign Ministry to pursue the issue and called for banning Canadian nationals from visiting Iran. READ MORE

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said this week that his country will further limit diplomatic contacts with Iran to back demands for justice in the case of the late Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, according to the Associated Press.

"We have decided to constrain our bilateral relations with Iran until Iranian authorities are prepared to deal with this affair in a serious and credible manner," Pettigrew said.

“Canada is shedding crocodile tears for the death of Zahra Kazemi, who was previously convicted by Iran, although the Iranian Judiciary is firmly pursuing the issue of her death,” the Majlis committee added in the statement.

Asefi urges Canada to avoid misusing Iran cooperation

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also on Sunday said the Kazemi case is a internal issue and Canada should avoid misusing Iran's cooperation in this regard, IRNA reported.

"Canada should not use the issue of justice as a pretext for its own factional interests because such measures will bear no fruit.

"They have to change their behavior and know that Iran will not succumb to their pressure," Asefi said in response to a question on recent remarks by Canadian officials on Kazemi's case and the country's decision to impose limitations on ties with Iran.

The 54-year-old journalist died in 2003 because of a fractured skull.

The journalist, working for Canadian Camera Press journal, was arrested in June 2003 while illegally taking pictures from Evin prison in Tehran. Several days later, she was pronounced dead.