May 15, The Iran Project – A number of Iranian parliamentarians say that Canada, despite its claims to support human rights, prevented the Iranian nationals residing in the country to cast their votes in the forthcoming presidential election, calling on the Iranian government to facilitate Iranian expats’ participation in the polls.
Iranian expatriates can cast their ballots in the country’s upcoming presidential elections in as many as 103 foreign countries, but Canada, which hosts at least 400,000 Iranians, has hindered their electoral participation due to the lack of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Ottawa.
The decision came a month after Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York sent a diplomatic note to Canadian official, urging Ottawa to enable the process by respecting democracy and civil rights.
Referring to Canada’s not allowing Iran to set up polling stations in the country for May 19 election, Seyed Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, an Iranian lawmaker said Canada must not deprive Iranian nationals of their rights to take part in the presidential election.
Although Canada claims to support democracy and human rights, it withholds an inalienable right of citizenship of its foreign nationals, Naghavi Hosseini stressed.
Mohammad Javad Jamali, a member of the parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission also noted that Canada, because of its unquestionable compliance with the US anti-Iran policy, denied a request by Tehran to set up polling stations there for its upcoming presidential election.
Touching upon Canada’s recent decision to hinder the electoral participation of Iranian nationals there, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, another Member of Parliament, said the Canadian government is not committed to its obligations under international conventions.
Iran-Canada relations suffered a serious break in 2012 when Canada suspended diplomatic ties with Iran, closing its embassy in Tehran and giving all Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave the country,
Canada’s Conservative government has long had very poor relations with Iran, arch-enemy of close Canadian ally Israel.