Human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam, with her husband, Defence Minister Peter MacKay, says Canada should try to cripple the Iranian regime in any way possible outside of military intevention. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
Defence minister’s wife opposed to Canadian troops in Iran
Iranian-born human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam wants Iran’s embassy closed
Cripple the Iranian regime in any way possible, outside of military intervention, human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam said Friday.
The Iranian-born activist and wife of Defence Minister Peter MacKay said she’s against a military mission in the country, but that Canada should shut down the embassy in Ottawa to send a message to Tehran, the country’s capital.
"I’m very much against the idea of military intervention on Iran, so I’m always trying to find ways of crippling this regime in other ways," Afshin-Jam told Robyn Bresnahan, host of CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning.
"And one way would be showing symbolically that they’re not welcome. Among other things, I believe shutting down Iranian embassies around the world would send a strong diplomatic message back to Iran. And I truly believe, why should we be giving an embassy for those who imprison, torture, and execute innocent people?"
Afshin-Jam is a prominent human rights activist who founded Stop Child Executions, and met MacKay when she was lobbying the Canadian government to save the life of a young Iranian woman sentenced to death for killing a man who tried to rape her. At the time, MacKay was the foreign affairs minister.
Afshin-Jam says she’s told MacKay what she thinks about the Iranian embassy.
"I’ve shared my views with him but I don’t represent the opinion of the government or even my husband. I know there are reasons why they are keeping this [Iranian] embassy open."