On Eve of Iran Election, Baird Urges Iranians to Make Their Voices Heard
June 13, 2013 - On the eve of Iran’s presidential election, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird commended the people of Iran for their courage:
“Despite all the efforts of the regime to control the process and the outcome, the hopes and aspirations of the Iranian people are not bound by the artificial choice that the regime has forced on Iranians.
“While the regime tries to silence the voices of the Iranian people, Canada encourages Iranians to make their voices heard.
“Whether Iranian voters confide to close friends, express their criticism of the election through satire, cast a protest vote, participate in an online virtual vote or boycott the election altogether, Canada commends the bravery of all those who express their desire for freedom.
“Canada is proud to support projects that expand opportunities for Iranians to freely express their views, including the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, in partnership with the “Pulse of Iran” (Nabz-e Iran) project.
“I invite Iranians everywhere to participate in these initiatives, and I especially invite Iranians inside Iran to use these platforms to tell the world what they really think.”
Members of the Canadian Parliament representing significant communities of Iranian-Canadians joined Baird in supporting the Iranian people’s desire for change and challenged the Iranian regime to open up.
“Iran’s rulers have taken every step they can to suppress the collective will and democratic voices of average Iranians inside the country,” said John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. “Canadian-Iranians and I look forward to the day when Iran will be a bulwark of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.”
“Canada continues to stand with Iranians on the ground who are pushing for meaningful reforms and for the basic right to be respected,” said Costas Menegakis, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill. “While we long ago lost faith in the regressive and hollow Iranian regime, we have not lost faith in the Iranian people.”
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