Stung by opposition charges that it has been too soft on Iran, the Martin government launched an aggressive diplomatic push yesterday for a new investigation into the torture, rape and murder of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi by Iranian security forces in 2003.
"This is something on which we will not give up," Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew told the House of Commons, adding that he had telephoned Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday morning to demand a forensic examination of Ms. Kazemi's remains. "We know that in Iran it is lies, it is cover-ups that have been presented to us, and this is totally unacceptable."
Mr. Pettigrew also said the government will seek international support to increase diplomatic pressure on Iran to accede to its demands. "We have many countries onside," he said. ". . .We have our allies who are well aware of our concerns with the situation in Iran and they've been supporting us at the United Nations, and we will continue to work on that front."
I bet the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Iran was shaking in his boots by Pettigrew’s tough love telephone call. Two years of phone calls, letters, and a brief recall of our ambassador from Iran and the best our government can do is issue a statement saying we will launch a new aggressive diplomatic push that cumulates in a phone demanding a forensic examination of Ms. Kazemi’s body. No doubt the Mullah’s are running for the hills with this one. Wouldn't you?
I recognize that our military options are limited as successive liberal governments have so eviscerated our armed forces to the point that the government cannot even guarantee proper foot wear or basic gear for Canadian soldiers when the government does order a mission to deploy in a foreign country. Recalling the ambassador and all Canadian staff from our embassy in Iran, blowing up the building behind them, cutting all diplomatic ties and imposing economic sanctions against the Iranian government is well within the government’s ability to act. Instead we get another round of tough love phone calls and dialogue at the United Nations.