THE GROWING IRANIAN THREAT IN THE AMERICAS

By Shabnam Assadollahi on January 6, 2013

Ottawa - The Islamic Republic of Iran's infiltration in the US, Canada and South American countries started in early 90s as the Ayatollah Rafsanjani came into power and spread terrorism abroad. We need to stop the growing threat of the IRI  in Canada and the US.

Immigration is a big issue. If we cannot look carefully and extensively into people’s background, we cannot really have meaningful and reliable security checks. After all, how much good is closing down the Embassy in Canada, if hordes of essentially unscreenable people are entering Canada from Iran aside from those already active in Canadian soil.

The first step is to understand the nature of terrorist regimes and how they use infiltration of other societies in orderto achieve their goals. The IRI as a terrorist regime has used this policy since its foundation. 

IRI Infiltration among opposition groups, deploying individuals acting as regime opponents who in fact are nothing but the IRI’s mouthpieces makes it more important for the US and Canada to have such apologists and lobbyists identified.

It's not difficult to find these pro IRI organized network groups; all it takes is investigation into some past terrorist acts. For example. the assassination plot against the Saudi Arabian ambassador which was foiled in New York in 2011 and this network of pro IRI lobbyists orchestrated a very organized PR campaign to raise doubts over the fact that the arrested individual could have  been a potential terrorist and that the entire story demonstrated it as a political game, propaganda to put more pressure on the Regime in Tehran. As we know, the arrested individual had admitted all charges later in 2012. This is but one of many examples of how we can assess the risk posed by infiltrators in the US and Canada's .

Once these individuals and groups are identified, the US and Canadian administrations should make it a requirement for all these to comply with thFARA Act. As a matter of fact, all investigations must be carried out into finding out about such individuals and groups (organized Network groups of the Iranian/non Iranian lobbyist and apologists)

Since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not only brought pain and suffering onto its own people but has become a clear threat to the world. The Islamic Republic has openly, and on a regular basis, issued death threats at each and every IRI Friday Prayers in Tehran against individuals and groups in the United States and Canada. These threats should not be taken lightly, as the Iranian regime has a history of both directly and indirectly supporting terrorist activities beyond its borders.

The growing influence of the Iranian regime in Latin America is concerning. Iran is developing a complex network of active cells in Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba, with joint military collaboration..

Iran also uses proxy organizations, in particular Hezbollah, to carry out its terrorist activities and has done so in the Americas. For example, in 2006, Argentinian prosecutors formally charged the Iranian regime for being behind the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, which was carried-out by Hezbollah. Iran is also believed to be behind a 1992 bombing in that country.

The Iranian regime may also be getting involved with drug cartels in Mexico, bringing its operations even closer to American borders. In this light, Iran may be looking at using Mexican drug cartels to carry out its operations in United States – an example of this is the recent attack on the Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in the States.

Canada and the U.S. share the longest international border, have  the largest trade relations in the world, and embrace values of democratic and free societies. These values are opposed by the dictatorial regime in Iran, and there is increasing evidence of Iranian covert operations in the West. We cannot allow the possibility of the Iranian regime using Canada as a base for organizing covert operations against United States.

It is therefore imperative to ensure that Canada and the U.S. have a common approach to addressing infiltration and terrorist activities sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

A common policy approach will strengthen our borders, ensure the safety of Canadian and American citizens, and allow Canada-US bilateral trade relations to continue to prosper.

The Beyond the Border initiative, which was announced in 2011 by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, provides the right framework for achieving these goals. We must also work with our Western allies to reduce the Iranian threat In addition, Canada and the US must also work with other allies in order to align policies which would strengthen borders  against Iranian covert operations while ensuring the safety and free movement of ordinary citizens.

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Shabnam Assadollahi is a human rights activist 

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