Minister Cannon Expresses Concern over Situation in Iran Following Presidential Election

(No. 163 - June 15, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the situation in Iran following the presidential election:

“Canada is deeply troubled by the current situation in Iran. The allegations of fraud in last week’s presidential election are serious and need to be answered. The Iranian people deserves to have its voice heard, and we call for a fully transparent investigation into electoral discrepancies.

“The banning of opposition protests and security forces’ heavy-handed treatment of demonstrators throughout the country are also matters of grave concern.

“We are further disturbed by reports of the unacceptable treatment of George McLeod, a Canadian journalist who was allegedly detained and beaten by Iranian authorities. We have called in Iran’s Chargé d’Affaires in Ottawa to answer questions about the mistreatment of Mr. McLeod and to raise our concerns about the situation in Iran.

“The Government of Canada calls for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Iran, and urges the country to fully respect all of its human rights obligations, both in law and in practice. We also continue to call on Iran to comply immediately with its legal obligations concerning its nuclear program.

“We will continue to monitor events closely over the coming days.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
international.gc.ca